It has been a much-remarked-on fact recently that the population of the United States is growing older. Due to the so-called ‘baby boom’ generation reaching retirement age, the age-based demographic pyramid is becoming top-heavy. As a result, social issues that affect the older population are becoming more prevalent in the national consciousness. One of these is the looming specter of nursing home abuse.
With the rapidly aging population, more and more individuals may need nursing home care in the near future. We know that nursing home neglect and abuse occurs more than we’d like to think. But, who can we say is more likely to suffer from it? What risk factors need we be aware of so that we can better protect this vulnerable population?
The National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA) is an organization that researches aspects of the abuse of older people, and advocates for solutions to this problem. NCEA has identified some risk factors Connecticut residents may wish to be aware of when thinking about who is more likely to be a victim of elder abuse.
As is often the case with abuse, in nearly all cases of nursing home abuse, a lack of social support or standing is a factor. Those without advocates can more easily become victims. Low-income or impoverished people are also more likely to suffer abuse. Those with dementia or other memory-related disorders can be more easily victimized. Women are generally more likely to be abused than men. Also, people who have previously suffered traumatic experiences, such as domestic violence or sexual abuse, seem to be more likely to become victims of nursing home abuse.
While being cognizant of the factors that may put a person at-risk is important, Connecticut residents should also realize that nursing home abuse and neglect can happen to anyone. Those who believe a loved one may have suffered mistreatment may wish to contact an experienced attorney.