Many Nursing Homes on Watch List for Elder Abuse, Number of Dementia Patients Rises

Government Website for Tallahassee Shows that Most Nursing Homes Are On Watch List Due to Recent Elder Abuse

watch listAccording to the new FloridaHealthFinder.gov, four out of six nursing homes in Tallahassee are on the watch list for recent reports of elder abuse and neglect.

“I’ve seen more abuse and neglect in fifteen years than anybody needs to see in a lifetime in nursing homes, and I’m tired of it,” said Brian Lee, Executive Director of Families for Better Care. His organization recently released a report card for all 50 states, so that families can see which states have the worst rates of elder abuse and neglect in their nursing homes.

States that got As: Alaska, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Hawaii, Oregon, Maine, Utah, Idaho, South Dakota and North Dakota. Alaska, Rhode Island, and New Hampshire were particularly good states for elder care.

States that got Fs: Texas, Louisiana, Indiana, Oklahoma, Missouri, New Mexico, New York, Michigan, Nevada, Illinois and Iowa. Of these states, Texas, Louisiana, and Indiana had the worst ratings.

Elder abuse in a nursing home setting can take many forms, from physical abuse that can lead to lasting injuries and even death, to financial abuse, which includes stolen property, and misplaced funds. The nursing home industry in the United States has been plagued with these problems for decades.

“Most of the information,” said Lee, “especially from public officials that they receive is one-sided and from the nursing home industry.”

Lee’s organization, Families for Better Care, is based in Tallahassee, FL. Concerned families can also go to MemberoftheFamily.net and see the watch lists of worst nursing homes in their area, so they know which ones to avoid and protect their elderly family members from elder abuse and neglect.

“Care has got to be better,” said Lee. “We’re going to see this influx of people who are going to come in to nursing homes, and we want to make sure those places are safe.”

Preventing Elder Abuse More Important as More People Develop Dementia

According to a new report, 44 million people worldwide suffer from dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, but that number is expected to triple to 135 million by 2050. As the numbers of dementia patients in facilities increases, the chances for elder abuse also increase.

The report, which was released before next week’s G8 Summit in London on dementia care for the elderly, claims that the problem will escalate because people are living longer, which means they are susceptible to more diseases, including dementia. The researchers added that governments were ”woefully unprepared for the dementia epidemic,” with only 13 countries raising money and putting plans in place for the “epidemic.”

The report added that 71% of dementia patients were likely to be middle and lower income and in poor countries, such as South East Asia and Africa.

“All nations that must commit to a sustained increase in dementia research and a comprehensive plan for collaborative action involving all relevant government sectors, industry and civil society,” the authors say, calling dementia one of the biggest global health challenges of this generation.

With a much larger elderly population, the chances of elder abuse in overworked nursing facilities and hospitals, as well as from overworked caregivers, will skyrocket. That is why it is more important than ever to make sure nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and independent living facilities have trained staff and a thorough understanding of their residents’ needs, and that there is a support network for caregivers, including legal support.

The Strom Law Defends Victims of Elder Abuse

If your loved one has faced elder abuse, whether from a caregiver or at a nursing home, you do not have to suffer in silence. Contact the attorneys at the Strom Law Firm for a free, confidential consultation. We are here to help. 803.252.4800.

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