Friday, October 28, 2016
Why Nursing Home Abuse often goes Unreported
According to the National Center for Elder Abuse (NCEA), elder abuse is likely a much bigger problem than anyone knows. This is because most cases of elder abuse go unreported and are possibly never detected. It is heartbreaking to know that residents of facilities like Brookdale Senior Living are suffering abuse or mistreatment in silence in the last years of their lives. The following are only some reasons why such elder abuse goes unreported so frequently:
Family members do not visit - A surprising number of nursing home residents do not have regular visits from family members. Family may have moved away or simply may neglect to make time to visit the resident. If they never see family members, they may not believe there is anyone they can trust to help stand up for them or anyone who will care.
Fear of what may happen - Often, when abuse is reported, a resident may be relocated to another facility immediately. This may mean losing contact with friends they have made and losing their routines. In addition, they may fear that the treatment at the new facility will be worse than the treatment they are currently suffering.
Threats or intimidation - In too many cases, a staff member who abuses a resident may threaten retaliation if the resident tells anyone about the abuse. In other instances, overt threats may not even need to be made, as residents may fear retaliation on their own and so they choose to keep quiet about what has happened.
Feelings of shame - Many instances of abuse can cause substantial feelings of shame in victims. This is especially true when abuse makes an adult feel weak because they are not able to defend themselves or in cases of sexual abuse. This shame alone can often be enough for a nursing home abuse victim to not report the abuse to anyone.
Lack of understanding of the abuse - Many nursing home abuse victims have dementia or other mental conditions. These conditions can make them more vulnerable and therefore easier targets for abusers. An abused resident with cognitive conditions may not fully realize that they have been abused but will still feel pain and may have the feeling that something bad has happened to them. However, they will not be in the mental state to know how to express what has happened or report it.
Not knowing how to report abuse - Many neglected or abused nursing home residents may think there is a special procedure for reporting mistreatment. They may not know who to trust in the nursing home and may not be aware that they can tell managers or family members.
These are only some of the reasons why abuse or neglect victims may not report or may be reluctant to report their mistreatment. For this reason, it is essential that you visit your loved ones in nursing homes often and let them know they can trust you. Ask frequent questions about their experience in the nursing home and about how they get along with the staff. Be on watch for any unexplained wounds or behavioral changes that may indicate abuse. Because chances are likely that your loved one may not report abuse on their own, you play an important role in their lives to ensure they are receiving the treatment they need and deserve.
Call Our Compassionate Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys for Help Today
It is always distressing to know that your loved one has been suffering, especially if they have been suffering in silence for some time. Once you find out that any type of abuse or neglect has occurred at Brookdale Senior centers or anywhere else, you likely will want to take immediate action to both safeguard your loved one and obtain justice for their suffering.
You can trust that our nursing home abuse attorneys at the Dolman Law Group in Clearwater, Florida are here to help you. We work to hold facilities like Brookdale accountable for any harm they have caused, so please call today for a free consultation at 727-451-6900.