October has been designated Residents’ Rights Month by the Consumer
Voice for Quality Long-Term Care, an advocacy group focused on improving
the quality of care and life for all persons receiving long-term care.
The theme of this year’s campaign is “Speak Out Against Elder
“We want to help create a safe and secure environment for older adults
and individuals with disabilities, no matter where they may happen to
live. Whether it’s the residents themselves or witnesses of elder
abuse, there is no reason someone should keep quiet and avoid taking action.
We hope to facilitate and encourage ways for residents, their loved ones,
or witnesses of elder abuse to use their voice and speak out against this
serious issue,” said Sarah F. Wells, Consumer Voice Executive Director.
As San Diego elder abuse attorneys, we have seen the tragic consequences
of this growing problem firsthand. Although hard figures regarding the
prevalence of elder abuse are not available, one survey of 2,000 nursing
home residents found that 44 percent of respondents had been abused, while
95 percent reported being neglected or seeing another resident neglected.
Many cases of nursing home abuse go unreported as seniors are either too
afraid to report the abuse for fear of retaliation or embarrassment or
simply do not know that they are being abused. If your loved one has unexplained
injuries, bed sores, or other warning signs, and you are suspicious of
elder abuse or nursing home negligence, it is important to report it immediately.
In addition, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit, including
a wrongful death action if the elder abuse has led to death.
If you suspect someone is a victim of
, please try to intervene. First‚ take steps to get more involved
in his or her care. Talk to the caregiver or advisor, assess the situation,
and do your best to determine the nature and extent of the problem.