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Study: Half of Americans Will Need to Stay in a Nursing Home

Posted on in Nursing Home Abuse

Illinois nursing home abuse lawyersMost of us do not enjoy thinking about a time when we will be unable to care for ourselves or live alone. However, aging is a part of life. Many people will need round-the-clock care as they get older and some of those people will find themselves in a nursing home. In fact, a recent study suggests that more than half of Americans will stay in a nursing home at some point in their lives.

A team of researchers at the RAND Center for the Study of Aging looked at data collected over 18 years in the Health and Retirement Study—a projected funded by the U.S. Social Security Administration and the National Institute on Aging. The team found that, for the first time, more than 50 percent of seniors will need care from a nursing home or assisted-living facility at least once during their lifetime. The study pointed out that most nursing home stays are likely to be short and financially manageable. Only about 5 percent of adults are expected to spend 1500 days or more in a nursing facility.

The findings suggest a much higher percentage of people needing nursing home care than previously estimated. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services found that 35 percent of Americans will need nursing home care in their lives. Regardless of which number ultimately proves to be true, the reality is that millions of Americans will spend time in a nursing home, potentially putting them at risk for abuse and mistreatment.

Nursing Home Abuse a Sad Reality

The new finding calls attention to the importance of holding nursing homes accountable for the care of their residents. The most vulnerable among us deserve to be treated with compassion and respect, but tragically, many are not. A congressional report showed that nearly a third of all American nursing homes were cited for violations that had the potential to cause harm to residents. Even more disturbing, 44 percent of nursing home residents reported in a survey that they had been abused while staying in a nursing home. A staggering 95 percent of residents reported that they had seen another resident neglected by nursing home staff.

Nursing home neglect is sometimes unintentional and caused by understaffed care facilities. However, it is still unacceptable. Nursing home neglect can include:

  • Inadequate hygiene routines;
  • Inadequate provision of food and water;
  • Inappropriate clothing provisions;
  • Skipped medication;
  • Inattention to injuries or illnesses; and
  • Prolonged isolation of residents and inadequate socialization.

Nursing home neglect can be physically and emotionally damaging to residents. It can result in an increase in bed sores and other infections and worsening of existing medical issues. Residents who are left alone for long periods of time are also more prone to depression and anxiety. In extreme cases,  nursing home staff members actively harm residents, subjecting victims to physical abuse such as hitting, sexual abuse, and psychological abuse.

An Illinois Nursing Home Injury Lawyer Can Help 

Residents in a nursing home are often physically or mentally unable to care for themselves or be their own advocate. Because of this, it is extremely important that nursing home staff be held accountable for any actions which bring harm to residents. At Schwartz Injury Law, we believe victims of nursing home abuse and neglect deserve compensation for their mistreatment. Call 312-535-4625 to schedule a free initial consultation with one of our experienced Chicago nursing home abuse attorneys today.



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