As the nation’s population gets progressively older, the proportion of people at risk for elder abuse also grows. Older people with dementia or Alzheimer’s are particularly at risk, according to advocates. Elder abuse can take place in the home, at a relative’s house, or in a nursing home or other assisted care facility.
Life expectancies are significantly longer than they were a generation ago. The number of people who live to be 90 and older has tripled over the last 30 years and will likely quadruple within the next 40 years. About 13 percent of the total population is now over 65
People who are victims of abuse in a nursing home may have a variety of injuries as a result, depending on the type of abuse and the severity. Family members who are suspicious of abuse in a nursing home facility should consult an outside medical professional to evaluate injuries. If signs of abuse are found, it may be helpful to contact an attorney to pursue compensation from the responsible parties and help end the abuse if there are other victims.
Non-profit nursing homes have sprung up in several states around the country to treat victims of elder abuse, but personal injury attorneys in Portland, OR say there should be more safe havens for the elderly. “Nationally, we’ve been aware of the need for elder abuse shelters, but they’ve been slow in coming into fruition,” said a spokesperson for the AARP. The centers provide therapy, legal services, pastoral care, social workers, and other recreational activities.