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Milwaukee, WI elder abuse defense attorney

When a loved one enters a nursing home, it is usually with the idea that they will receive better care than their family or friends can provide at home. Sadly, this is not always the case. However, many nursing homes do provide quality care yet still face accusations that staff members did not provide the proper care. What can health care facilities, such as nursing homes, do to protect themselves from allegations of abuse?

Sad Statistics

No one can deny that nursing home abuse is a real concern. Consider:

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Milwaukee elder abuse attorneyBy Attorney Chris Strohbehn

Elder abuse and neglect is all too prevalent in today’s world. As baby boomers continue to age, the number of individuals in nursing homes continues to increase. In order to monitor and attempt to reduce the number of abuse victims, the National Center on Elder Abuse studies the trends and prevalence of elder abuse in America. According to one of their studies, it is estimated that 1 in 13 older adults had been victims of at least one form of elder abuse in the previous year. One of the most devastating statistics reveals that those who suffer from dementia become even greater targets. According to a 2009 study, almost 50% of people with dementia experience some form of abuse. 

These statistics are discouraging, especially for those whose only option is residing at a nursing home. Knowing the different types of abuse and recognizing their identifiers can help save elderly victims and hopefully lower the number of individuals that suffer from nursing home abuse.

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Wisconsin personal injury attorney, Wisconsin wrongful death lawyer, Wisconsin nursing home abuse lawyerAccording to statistics, elder abuse occurs in one out of three nursing homes. Often, that abuse is experienced at the hands of staff, but a recent study has also revealed that resident-on-resident abuse occurs frequently as well. One woman, suffocated and strangled to death, is an example of the latter. But just how much ammunition do you or your loved ones have against a nursing home if wrongful death, abuse, or negligence has occurred? The answer to that question may lie in the paperwork.

Roommate Charged with Murder, Nursing Home Never Implicated

Despite alleged documents that stated the deceased’s roommate was a risk to herself and/or others, authorities focused their attention on the resident actually responsible for the 100-year-old woman’s death rather than investigating the facility. Charged with murder and then deemed unfit to stand trial because she suffered from dementia, she was eventually committed to a state hospital. But the nursing home responsible for their care was never implicated, either criminally or otherwise.

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Wisconsin elder abuse attorney, Wisconsin injury lawyer, nursing home abuseEvery year, millions of elderly individuals in the United States are placed in residential facilities, nursing homes and assisted living centers. Unfortunately, the National Institutes of Health (“NIH”) estimates that over two million elderly United States residents placed in these types of facilities experience some form of abuse and neglect.

In 2009, NIH found that approximately 5,300 cases of abuse or neglect were reported to the Wisconsin Department of Health and Human Services, which maintains a sophisticated reporting system across the state of Wisconsin. According to the Wisconsin Department of Health and Human Services, of the 5,300 plus cases of suspected abuse or neglect involving elderly individuals in residential facilities, 28 were tragically related to death while another 371 incidents were considered-life threatening.

When you place a family member in a nursing home, you expect that family member to be treated and cared for by professionals who can meet their special needs. Placing an elderly family member in one of these facilities is usually the one of the most stressful and hardest decision you will ever have to make.

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