Zevan and Davidson Law Firm Articles Nursing Homes Offer Shelter To Victims Of Elder Abuse

Nursing Homes Offer Shelter To Victims Of Elder Abuse

By David Zevan  Jul. 8, 2013 10:09a

With all of the horrifying stories of nursing home abuse and neglect that are in the news every day, it is good to hear stories of people who are taking steps to protect the elderly from these kinds of abuses. Hebrew Home is a long term care facility in Riverdale, New York. It is one of a handful of nursing homes that are offering shelter and offering shelter and options for abuse victims. for abuse victims.

Elder abuse is a pervasive problem and affects 1 in 10 adults over the age of 60. In 2005 Hebrew Home developed its on-site shelter for abuse victims, the Harry & Jeanette Weinberg Center for Elder Abuse Prevention. Since then, there have been at least six other facilities that have used the model to develop their own emergency health care and housing services for elderly abuse victims.

Dan Reingold, who is the president and CEO of Hebrew Home, says that elder abuse can come in many different forms but the most common form of abuse is financial abuse. Adult children who cash in their parents’ social security checks or steal money directly from their bank accounts is a very common problem, according to Reingold. Victims of financial abuses like these lose around $2.9 billion a year, according to a 2011 MetLife Mature Market Institute study that focused on financial abuse of the elderly.

Abuse victims might not seek help or report the abuse out of embarrassment or guilt or because they feel as if no one would believe them. When the abuse is perpetrated by a family member, reporting it can be very difficult sometimes and an elderly abuse victim may not want to rock the boat or upset tenuous living circumstances. Adults who may have lower cognitive abilities are more susceptible targets for abuse, because those who are perpetrating the abuse believe they are more vulnerable and that if they were to report it, they would be less likely to be taken seriously.

The shelter at Hebrew House gets referrals from hospital emergency rooms, police officers, and social service agents. The shelter also trains people who have consistent contact with the elderly (clergy, meals on wheels staff, doormen, etc.) to recognize the signs of elder abuse. People like this are in a unique position to notice things that may be out of the norm.

Reingold relates that when abuse victims are sheltered at the Weinberg Center they are not placed on a separate wing or separated from the rest of the residents of the facility. They are integrated into the community as other incoming residents would be. In addition, there are attorneys who work for the Weinberg Center and they advocate on residents’ behalf, and will try to recover stolen money or property.

It is important to be on the lookout for signs of abuse and be aware of a change in personality, behavior, or financial situation, as well as signs of physical abuse. If you suspect an elderly person is being abused, you should report the suspected abuse immediately. You can also ask someone directly if they have been victimized, but be aware that not every elderly person will be able to answer honestly or even be able to fully comprehend the situation.

If a family member has been the victim of abuse at a nursing home or by another individual, contact a nursing home abuse attorney right away. A nursing home abuse attorney can help to investigate the abuse, recover stolen property, find evidence, and hold the responsible parties accountable for their actions.

Call the Zevan and Davidson Law Firm at (314) 588-7200

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