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Study says nursing home neglect prevalent among residents

With so many older adults in the care of long-term nursing homes in California, it is not necessarily unreasonable to expect that some type of oversight is employed to ensure the safety of residents. Unfortunately, this is often not the case. According to the National Center on Elder Abuse, keeping track of nursing home neglect is not always that easy. 

The statistics are shocking, with about 95 percent of nursing home residents reporting either witnessing neglect or being a victim of neglect themselves. Those numbers stem from a study that was conducted in 2000. The study also found that nearly half of residents -- 44 percent -- actually reported being abused. That figure does not include incidents of abuse that went unreported.

Abuse and negligence can culminate in various forms, including bedsores or dehydration. Some nursing home residents even suffer from malnutrition due to negligence. While these signs of abuse might be obvious to some, some believe that professionals charged with overseeing the care and safety of patients are ill-equipped to handle the reality of wide-spread and rampant nursing home abuse.

So what can California families do in the face of these types of statistics? Undoubtedly, most families have put an enormous amount of thought and consideration into choosing appropriate nursing homes for their loved ones. Sadly, regardless of the precautions taken, nursing home neglect can still occur. When a loved one has been victimized by a caregiver or nursing home staff, his or her family members have the option to seek compensation for their loved one's suffering. 

Source: Plymouth-Canton, Mi. Patch, "Elder Abuse: Do You Worry About a Loved One's Nursing Home Care?", Joe Vince, March 16, 2015

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