Physical, sexual, emotional and financial abuse are just a few forms of abuse elderly residents of Alcorn County may experience when they are placed in a nursing home. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 500,000 elderly individuals over the age of 60 believe that they have been abused or neglected every year. However, it is suspected that this figure is higher because many elderly are afraid to tell their friends, family members or police about the violence that is taking place in their home.
The elderly seeking refuge in shelters
When this abuse becomes too much to handle, many elderly individuals do not tell their friends or family members, but are beginning to seek refuge in shelters. For example, a woman in her 70's that was living with a family member and abused sought protection at a shelter where she may be forced to spend the rest of her life, says the Huffington Post.
The shelter where this elderly woman is staying is designed to help elderly victims suffering from elder abuse and is one of just a few like it in the country. This shelter provides elderly individuals that were formerly abused with psychological, medical and legal services.
Abuse expected to rise as the elderly population increases
Unfortunately, the number of elderly seeking shelter in centers like these may be on the rise as elder abuse starts to rise in correlation with the aging population. According to the Huffington Post, the number of Americans over the age of 65 is suspected to double by the year 2030 due to the 'baby boomer' generation that was born between 1946 and 1964.
If one of your loved ones is living in a nursing home, it is important that you recognize the signs of abuse or neglect before they incur serious harm. Signs of elder abuse and neglect may include:
· The lack of comfortable or necessary amenities in an elderly person's home.
· The caregiver providing an inadequate explanation for burns, bruises and sores.
· Lack of food, hygiene and appropriate clothing.
· Changes in behavior, such as a withdrawal from normal activities.
These signs indicate some of the short-term consequences of abuse and neglect. However, the long-term consequences are more extreme. According to the National Center on Elder Abuse, elderly individuals that experience even a moderate form of abuse have a 300 percent higher risk of death than those that have never been abused.
If you or a loved one were abused at a nursing home or neglected by a caregiver, contact an attorney that specializes in elder abuse to assert your legal rights as a victim.