Young people ages 31 to 64 make up more than 10 percent of the nursing home population, an increasing trend over previous decades. The reasons range from physical disabilities to mental health problems, which, in many cases could be addressed in a home care setting but, unfortunately, states often lack programs and funding so nursing homes are the only viable option for many.
People of all ages with mental or physical disabilities in nursing homes are at a higher risk for abuse and neglect. They are more vulnerable due to social powerlessness, poor communication skills, an inability to protect themselves due to a lack of instruction and resources, and they have difficulty gauging whether or not another person is trustworthy.
Types of abuse range from physical, emotional or sexual abuse to financial exploitation. Neglect, or a failure to adequately fulfill a care taking obligation, constitutes a large portion of those affected.
Efforts to improve care in nursing homes have been enacted, but there is certainly more work to be done. Nursing homes are required to provide more transparency and accountability so that problems can be detected and addressed. Job training, including instruction in abuse prevention, and requirements that nursing homes take steps internally to reduce civil and criminal violations have been directed in hopes of improving care.
If you or a loved one has been neglected, abused or financially exploited in an Iowa nursing home or residential care setting, contact the law firm of John T. Hemminger for help.
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