Zevan and Davidson Law Firm Articles Nursing Home Abuse May Be Tied To High Hospitalization Rates

Nursing Home Abuse May Be Tied To High Hospitalization Rates

By David Zevan  Jul. 2, 2013 9:43a

Elderly people do not always have full control of their own medical care. Very often the elderly are dependent on family members or caregivers to make doctor’s appointments, get to them, receive follow-up care, get medication, and proper nutrition. They are very vulnerable to abuse from those who care for them.

Elderly individuals who have suffered psychological abuse, neglect, financial exploitation, or two or more types of abuse, were hospitalized more frequently than those who were not abused, according to a new study by JAMA Internal Medicine. Abused individuals were far more prone to hospital visits, and had high hospitalization rates compared to those who did not experience nursing home abuse.

Researchers used social services reports and reports from the U.S. Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services as part of the Chicago Health and Aging Project to look at the cases of 6,700 elderly adults. The research team was led by Dr. XinQi Dong from Rush University Medical Center and Dr. Melissa Simon at Northwestern Medical Center. They discovered 106 cases of abuse that occurred between the year of 1993 and 2010.

After reviewing all of the information, the study concluded that for abuse victims, the annual hospitalization rate more than doubled. Those who did not experience nursing home abuse were hospitalized with far less frequency.

The most common forms of abuse, according to Dr. Gisele Wolf-Klein, of the North Shore LIJ Health System, are caregiver neglect and psychological abuse. These types of abuse most frequently resulted in patients needing to be hospitalized for injuries that they sustained. Because nursing home abuse is a trend that is alarming and also appears to be increasing, public awareness on the issue needs to also be constantly increasing. Though in recent years, many nursing home abuse stories have surfaced, bringing attention to the issue, this does not appear to diminish the abuse.

Dr. Wolf-Klein says “Today, approximately 10 percent of older adults are victims of abuse in the United States, and the trend is increasing.”

The safety of our elderly family members and loved ones is extremely important. We need to know that they are well-taken care of when we cannot be around them. Any abuse is unacceptable, but abuses that are serious enough to result in hospitalization are even more shocking and alarming.

If you or a family member have experienced any type of nursing home abuse - financial, physical, sexual, psychological, verbal, neglect - report the abuse and then contact an experienced nursing home abuse attorney right away. You may be able to recover damages for pain and suffering, medical bills, financial loss, and emotional trauma. If a wrongful death has occurred, families can ask their attorney about filing a wrongful death suit against the abuser or the facility where the abuse occurred.

The elderly are vulnerable and deserve to have someone advocating for them. The best possible scenario is to prevent abuse before it occurs, but because this is not always possible, finding a nursing home abuse attorney can be the best way to get justice and make sure that your family does not suffer any further.

St. Louis Nursing Home Abuse

If you have observed signs of abuse it is important to get in contact with the experienced nusring home abuse lawyers at the Zevan and Davidson Law Firm. We will work hard to protect the rights of you and your family and get you the compensation you are entitled to.

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