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Nursing Home Abuse - America's Growing Elderly Population

The population of America’s elderly, those age 65 and over, has been rising steadily since the turn of the 20th century. The same would be true of individuals who are the ages of 85 and over. Those numbers are also rising rapidly. It has been projected that by the year 2050, people age 65 and older will make up as much as 20% of the total United States population. What seems incredible is that the fastest growing segments of America’s population are those who reach the age of 85 and older. This information comes from the U.S. Department of Commerce, U.S. Census Bureau for the year 2008.

As America ages, so do the instances of elder abuse. Some describe abuse as mistreatment, neglect or even intentional actions all of which fall into the category that put the elderly at risk. Mistreatment may include intentional actions that cause harm or create a serious risk of harm to an elderly person. Often times these acts are committed by those who are closest to the most vulnerable, like a caregiver or other person who stands in a trusting relationship. This could be a family member, a home healthcare person, a nursing home nurse or even a doctor taking care of an elderly person.

What’s very important today is that those who do work with the elderly must be professionally trained. Because of the numbers of those who are considered elderly is rising so quickly, the need for professionally trained persons to care for those most likely to be harmed is in great demand.

As far as elder abuse, it is apparent that there is higher rate of female elders who are abused than male elders. That statistic is derived from the National Center on Elder Abuse, Westat, Inc. (1998); The National Elder Abuse Incident Study, Final Report. Washington, D.C.

It cannot be overlooked that the elderly are vulnerable, but so are those who are stricken by physical or mental disabilities. There are approximately 19 million U.S. adults age 18 to 64 that have some form of disability; U.S. Census Bureau (2010). Those with physical or mental disabilities are just as susceptible to abuse as are those who are elderly. The disabled may be abused by medical providers, daycare workers, family members, doctors, nurses and others who come in contact with the disabled. Some of the disabled are institutionalized and some are not. Whether in a hospital setting institutional or at home, a disabled person like the elderly may be taken advantage of, abused and injured.

Of the elderly, those who are afflicted with dementia or other mental capacity diseases like Alzheimer’s disease are susceptible and are at greater risk of elder abuse. More than 5 million Americans over the age of 65 have a form of dementia. Half of those individuals are over the age of 85, which is the fastest growing segment of the population.

What is very distressing is that a 2009 study showed that close to 50% of individuals who suffer from some form of dementia have experienced a kind of abuse in recent times. Often those afflicted with dementia are mistreated by caregivers.

Elder abuse can take place in any location, but most likely in nursing homes, community settings, private homes and medical facilities. As of 2008, 3.2 million Americans are residing in nursing homes. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (2009) Nursing Home Data Compendium. Washington, D.C.

It is imperative that those who know of elder abuse report to the appropriate authorities. Signs of elder abuse are often times not seen or identified by professionals who work with the elderly perhaps because of the lack of training or the lack of the number of personnel overseeing the care and treatment of the elderly. It is worth noting that the elderly are frequently reluctant to report their own abuse to family, friends and caregivers for a variety of reasons. The elderly person may be embarrassed or unable to comprehend the severity of the mistreatment. Therefore, it makes it essential that those of us who visit friends, family and loved ones at nursing homes or long-term care facilities report any signs or symptoms of abuse.

If you or a loved one has been suffering or died as a result of nursing home abuse, contact Kreisman Law Offices.

Robert Kreisman of Kreisman Law Offices has been handling Chicago and Illinois nursing home abuse cases for more than 40 years. Kreisman Law Offices has prevailed in trials and settlements in Chicago, Illinois and surrounding communities and has successfully resolved cases for those injured or abused in nursing homes for these many years.

With our years of experience in trying and settling nursing home abuse cases, Kreisman Law Offices provides the best possible services to our clients and have achieved unsurpassed results. Our service is unmatched. Please call us 24 hours a day at 312.346.0045 or toll free 800.583.8002 for a free and immediate consultation, or complete a contact form online.

Client Reviews
★★★★★
“We were devastated when our 31 year-old son was killed by a negligent driver. Kreisman Law Offices did everything to help us through this very difficult time, including coming out to the house several times which was a comfort. My wife and I were extremely pleased with Mr. Kreisman’s compassion and care for this very tragic and troubling time.” C.B.
★★★★★
“Bob Kreisman did everything possible in handling the trial of this case. It was devastating that I traumatically lost my leg above the knee in this truck accident. However, it was not an easy case to win. His staff was so prepared for the trial that it was not surprising that the settlement offers continued to rise until we finally accepted the multi-million settlement while the jury was still deciding the case. My wife and I were delighted that we could secure our future with this settlement. We thank Mr. Kreisman and his incredible staff for working so hard for our benefit.” T.P.
★★★★★
“My mother died because doctors dropped the ball. I called Robert Kreisman and he immediately set up an appointment for my entire family. We met at his offices and I was very comfortable that he would do the best for my dad and my brothers. He spent hours with all of us in preparing for depositions and he hired top notch experts, all of which contributed to an incredible settlement before trial. I know that he is dedicated to his cases and particularly to the people he works for and the people who work with him. He continues to be generous in contributing annually to my mother’s memory and to make known to the public the signs and symptoms of brain tumors.” V.S.
★★★★★
“My dad was ignored and mistreated at the nursing home that we placed him in. It didn’t take long for us to realize that we made a big mistake, particularly after my dad developed these terrible bedsores. We transferred him as we were contacting Mr. Kreisman. He was referred to us by a lawyer we have known for a long time and respect his opinion. Mr. Kreisman and his staff worked tirelessly to resolve this case. We were fortunate to have his services and will recommend him to anyone.” T.J.