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Nursing home abuse and neglect statistics are staggering

Many Mississippi residents have loved ones that are in nursing homes and may be shocked by the prevalence of nursing home neglect and abuse. A recent congressional report highlighted the extent of the problem, pointing to a need for major reforms.

According to the House Government Reform Committee, there were more than 9,000 abuse and neglect incidents in a two-year period. These occurrences included patients that had limited access to medical care, ones that had untreated bedsores, some who suffered from poor hygiene or sanitation and individuals who were dehydrated or malnourished. Out of the cases, 1,601 were serious enough to merit involvement from law enforcement officers.

There are approximately 17,000 nursing homes in the US that house 1.6 million residents. The number of people who are in nursing homes is expected to increase as the baby boomer population ages. The report also included many preventable accidents that involved broken bones, lacerations and contusions. Incidences of physical and sexual abuse also were present. The report was completed at the request of Representative Henry Waxman due to an increasing number of incidents that had been reported.

Many elderly people who live in nursing homes are the victims of negligence and abuse. When elder abuse or neglect is suspected, the victims' families might want to consult with experienced elder law attorneys. Lawyers may help by conducting investigations to uncover evidence of neglect or abuse. They may file lawsuits against the nursing homes in order to hold them accountable for their actions or inactions. Elderly nursing home patients may be unable to protect themselves, and it is tragic that so many of them are victimized by the people who are paid to care for them. In addition to talking to elder law attorneys, families also may want to report what's happened to law enforcement officials.

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