It may appear that everyone who witnesses an elderly person being abused will speak out, but this is not the case. We have worked on many elder abuse cases at The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker, and it is often the case that the abuse was known about long before it was perpetrated.
This may be difficult to comprehend, but many people who are in a position to witness abuse are also in a position to lose a lot of money if they report it. Continue reading to find out more. Then call The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker for a free legal consultation with a personal injury attorney at 800-333-0000.
Many people are afraid of retaliation if they report elder abuse
The fear of revenge is the most prevalent cause for not reporting elder abuse. According to one study, only around one out of every five cases of nursing home elder abuse is ever recorded. The four out of five incidents that go unreported are usually due to fear of retaliation from coworkers.
Employees at care homes aren’t the only ones who are afraid. Employees at the nursing home are concerned that they may lose their jobs, have their hours decreased, and that management would just ignore their legitimate complaints. People who are abused are terrified that if they speak up, they will be mistreated much more, and they are often led to feel that no one would believe them.
Family members of abused victims are concerned that reporting the abuse would result in their loved one being taken from the nursing home. This would not be an issue if the family member had other alternatives, but when the nursing home their loved one is in is the only one they can afford or that their loved one qualifies for, the fear of being forced out may be very real.
Even those who conduct study on the subject may face retaliation. Consider the fact that two academics with PhDs in the field were barred from working in residential care facilities. One of them lost contracts and had to sell his house and relocate to a different place where he could do further research.
In California, elder abuse is becoming more of a problem
A quarter million seniors are presently residing in nursing homes or other registered long-term care facilities. Another 150,000 people live in unlicensed institutions, many of which do not fulfill the minimum standards of care necessary for licensure. These figures are only expected to rise, since the state’s senior population is expected to more than quadruple by 2025, compared to 2000 levels. The estimated number has risen to 6.4 million.
According to a study from the California Senate Office of Oversight and Outcomes, the State Long Term Care Ombudsman received 13 percent of complaints alleging neglect, abuse, or exploitation. To put that figure into context, remember that the national rate is 5%.
If you or your loved one has been the victim of elder abuse, contact The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker at 800-333-0000 for a free legal consultation from a personal injury attorney who can help you.