Nursing homes in Massachusetts should provide a safe living environment for seniors, but unfortunately many fall short and fail to do so. Nursing homes can be dangerous places when staff members neglect the needs of vulnerable seniors. Worse, there are situations where staff members actively abuse the seniors under their care.
A Worcester nursing home planning lawyer at The Law Offices of James A. Miller, P.C. can provide assistance to seniors in taking steps to ensure they find a safe nursing home environment. It is best to begin researching before you need to go into a home so a decision does not have to be made quickly after a medical emergency or when a senior can no longer live alone. Advanced plans also need to be made to ensure that the costs of care can be covered financially since nursing homes are very expensive.
The Law Offices of James A. Miller, P.C. works with seniors and their families to research care facilities to determine which facilities are likely to provide the best quality of life. We also assist with Medicaid planning to protect assets and get costs paid for. Our legal team understands the importance of nursing home planning due to the serious risks that exist of abuse and neglect in nursing homes in Massachusetts.
How Big is the Risk of Abuse in Nursing Homes in Massachusetts?
Troubling statistics show just how serious the problem of nursing home abuse is within the state of Massachusetts. According to Ethos, there are 54 reports made in the state of Massachusetts alleging suspected abuse every single day. This data comes from 2011, and it reflects a 31 percent increase compared with the prior year. As baby boomers age and the population gets older and more people move into nursing homes, the incidents of abuse are going to continue to grow.
Just in Boston alone, there were 7,000 cases of abuse reported between 2008 and 2012. Since abuse is often underreported, there were likely many more abuse cases within the city of Boston. Research from the Office of Justice Programs indicates that while 4.6 percent of adults 60 and over experienced some kind of emotional abuse in 2011, just eight percent of the abused seniors reported the abuse to the police.
There are many reasons why seniors do not report elder abuse. In some cases, the abuser is a family member and the senior does not want to get a relative in trouble. In many other instances, seniors suffer from dementia or some other medical condition that makes it impossible for the senior to advocate for himself. In still other situations, seniors are afraid to report incidents of abuse because they don’t think anyone will help them or because they don’t have enough contact with someone who they trust to report the problem.
The scope of the problem is very serious, with 11 percent of older people responding to a Department of Justice phone survey indicating that they had experienced at least one type of mistreatment. There are many different kinds of abuse that these vulnerable seniors could experience, including physical abuse, financial abuse, and sexual abuse. If seniors are not able to stop the harmful treatment being directed at them, they can suffer serious consequences.
Seniors who are abused are more likely to experience depression, anxiety and other related mental issues. Physical abuse also causes serious harm to the body, while neglect can cause issues like bedsores and dehydration or malnutrition. Seniors who are victimized by any type of abuse, including physical and financial abuse, also face a greater risk of passing away within the next year as compared with seniors who are not abused.
With the risks so great to seniors, it is vitally important to do everything possible to prevent abuse- which means carefully researching nursing care facilities and home health agencies.
Getting Help from A Worcester Nursing Home Planning Lawyer
The Law Offices of James A. Miller, P.C. can help you if you are planning ahead in case you need to go into a nursing home and can provide you with assistance if you or a loved one must move into a home soon due to a medical issue. We will work with you to explore all opportunities for covering nursing home costs and to find a home that will provide a safe environment.
To find out more about how our legal team can help you to plan ahead in case you require care in nursing homes in Massachusetts, give us a call at 866-370-3888 or contact us online today.
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