According to a federal report, an increase in elder abuse around the country threatens to put more pressure on an already strained adult protective services network. Likewise, this increase will likely cause an increase in nursing home malpractice cases. The report was compiled by the Government Accountability Office.A total of 39 states responded to the survey, which found that there was an increase in elder abuse cases, especially an increase in highly complex cases that involved several different forms of abuse.What is even more concerning to Atlanta elder abuse attorneys, is that even though there has been a spike in elder abuse cases, funding for adult protective services has not kept pace. As an Atlanta injury lawyer, I know that all attorneys are likely to be flooded with a significant number of nursing home malpractice claims.
The report also discusses the kind of person who is more susceptible to abuse.For instance, people with cognitive or physical impairment may be more susceptible to abuse.Elderly persons who have trouble bathing or feeding themselves and are dependent on others for such activities, may be at a higher risk of abuse.Elderly persons who lack social support, like a strong family network, were much more likely to be abused.
Besides, the report also analyzes the detrimental effects of such abuse on victims.For instance, a study conducted in 2,000 found that elder abuse victims had higher levels of depression, compared to elders who were not abused.Another study conducted in 2006 on elderly women in the Midwest found that women who were psychologically abused had more health problems than those who were not abused. Elder abuse also seems to decrease the lifespan of the victims.A decade-long study conducted between 1982 and 1992 found that only 9% of abuse victims were still alive in 1995, compared to 40% of elders who had not been subjected to abuse during the same period. The difference is just staggering and sad. We all must be aware and prepared to act when we see abuse.