Our last entry here on our Ann Arbor medical malpractice law blog started looking at some of the different forms of elder abuse that can occur in a nursing home or assisted living facility. Let's continue this week with some warning signs for which Ann Arbor residents should be on the lookout if they suspect nursing home neglect or abuse may be taking place.
When we talk about problems in society that are constantly evolving and growing in scope, sometimes the words we use to describe them become inadequate or even confusing. Here on our Ann Arbor medical malpractice law blog, we've been discussing nursing home neglect for the past few weeks, but let's take a step back and make sure that we're being clear for our readers asking: just what constitutes nursing home neglect or abuse?
It's hard to read stories, like our last Ann Arbor medical malpractice law blog entry, about elderly nursing home residents falling prey to neglect and abuse. These senior citizens are uniquely vulnerable; they are often physically weak, perhaps in failing health and may suffer from cognitive difficulties as well. Yet it's important for our readers to be informed about the issue, in part because it's frighteningly common here in Michigan.
While many of us here in Ann Arbor wish we could drop everything to take care of our aging parents and elder relatives when they need it, reality rarely works out that way. Today we need to enlist nursing homes to provide care and support. This makes cases of nursing home neglect and abuse all the more troubling.
Elder abuse is a serious problem, and given the increasing population of elderly Americans, is likely to be a growing problem in years to come. The variety of actions which constitute elder abuse is wide, and includes harm or threats of physical or mental harm; neglect in the provision of medical care, food, shelter, clothing, and other necessities; and exploitation of an elderly person’s money or property.
When many people think about living a nursing home as an elderly person, there is a fear associated with this possibility. In nursing home living, residents generally do not enjoy the autonomy and privacy they had as younger adults. In addition, there is a vulnerability to caregivers that can be concerning to some, particularly given the stories of nursing home abuse and neglect we hear about from time to time in the news.