Realizing that a parent can no longer care for him or herself is devastating. Many families struggle with going forward from this point as they try to decide whether a residential facility or in-home care is most appropriate.
Even though Ohio families usually put an enormous amount of thought and research into this decision, few can predict that their choice will lead to harm for a loved one.
What counts as elder abuse?
Elder abuse occurs when a person in a position of trust or power exerts violence upon an elderly person in their care. Although we often view violence through only a physical lens, this abuse may be emotional as well. Elders are susceptible to any of the following forms of abuse:
The impact of such abuse is truly profound and, at its most basic, a violation of a person’s human rights. Victims may spend their final years suffering from enormous amounts of pain and fear, unable to properly communicate the situation or too fearful to do so.
The staggering reality of elder abuse
According to the World Health Organization, one out of every six people aged 60 and older suffered abuse in 2017. Experts believe this is a conservative estimate, and that less than one percent of victims even report elder abuse incidents. Those living in residential facilities such as nursing homes experience abuse at higher rates than their peers who remain in their homes or similar communities.
Unfortunately, WHO predicts that these statistics will worsen in the coming years. In 2015, there were 900 million people globally who were at least 60 years old. By 2050, that number will be at approximately 200 billion.
Fear keeps victims from speaking out
Regardless of age, abuse is a difficult topic to bring up. Many elderly victims in Ohio live in fear and embarrassment, unable to come forward when incidents first occur. Unfortunately, by the time families discover the abuse, it has usually gone on for some time.
Nothing can ever undo the harm a loved one has suffered from abuse, but compensation can play a key role in their recovery. Successful legal claims can even force institutions to implement changes that protect future residents. However, since these facilities typically have legal help on their side, seeking out an experienced lawyer to provide guidance can be essential to achieving the best possible outcome for your loved one.