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How serious is elder abuse in nursing homes?

Do you have a family member who lives in a nursing home or other long-term care facility? Have you been concerned about or suspected that your loved one may have been abused or neglected in some way? Sadly, you are not alone. According to the National Center on Elder Abuse, a whopping 33 percent of nursing homes in the United States have received citations for various violations.

Other statistics corroborate how serious the problem of safety facing our nation's elderly population really is. Of all abuse or neglect complaints received, physical abuse is the most prevalent issue, being noted in 29 percent of cases. Psychological injury accounts for the second greatest number of complaints with mention in 22 percent of cases. Another 14 percent of complaints pertain to neglect and sexual abuse is reported in seven percent of complaints.

When surveyed, 95 percent of 2,000 elderly people reported that they had been the victims of some form of abuse or neglect by caregivers. To make matters worse, more than 50% of people who work in nursing homes admit that they themselves have mistreated residents. How many people perpetrated elder abuse or neglect but have not admitted it remains unknown. Residents in nursing homes are guaranteed rights under West Virginia law but that unfortunately does not prevent people from being abused or neglected. Among the laws include the right to be treated with "respect, individuality and dignity."

 This information is not intended to provide legal advice but general information about abuse and neglect of elderly persons who live in nursing homes in West Virginia.

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