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How common is elder abuse and nursing home neglect?

Most of our readers in North Georgia probably have elderly relatives who they respect and love, and they want to see those relatives taken care of as they live out their "golden years." Unfortunately, the reality is that many of these elderly people will need more advanced medical care than what their family members can provide. In many cases, that means that the elderly relative will need to relocate to live in a nursing home or an assisted-living facility.

In the vast majority of these types of residential facilities, the staff members and medical care providers are caring and passionate about their work to assist the elderly residents. However, as most of our readers have probably seen in news reports from time to time, there are, unfortunately, some "bad apples" that pop up occasionally.

According to data and statistics kept by the federal government, the exact scope of the instances of nursing home abuse and other forms of elder abuse may simply be too hard to quantify. Why is that? Well, it appears that instances of elder abuse - similar to domestic abuse or child abuse - may be underreported. But, from the data that is available, about one out of 10 elderly persons have experienced some form of elder abuse.

Society is beginning to recognize the problem that elder abuse presents. As a result, family members are focusing extra scrutiny on nursing homes and other assisted-living facilities - which is a good thing. However, in those situations where family members believe elder abuse is already occurring, it may be a good idea to investigate the potential legal remedies.

Source: www.ncea.aoa.gov, "Statistics/Data," accessed on March 22, 2015

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