US News, Health Division, recently covered an article about nursing homes providing shelter for elders suffering from abuse. The article, published on 3/18/2013,discusses the rising rate of elderly Americans who are being physically and financially abused by their own children. Overall, elder abuse affects about 10% of aging Americans; much of this abuse comes at the hands of the victim's own family members. About 2 million people abuse their elderly relatives in some way or form. In order to protect these people, several nursing homes across the country are creating shelters within their buildings to create emergency short-term housing and health care services to abuse victims. One of these sites is the Hebrew Home in Riverdale, NY, which established an Elder Abuse Prevention center in 2005.
According to the National Center on Elder Abuse, elder abuse victims often suffer from abuse from a family member or friend who has a substance abuse problem or mental illness. There is also research to suggest that elderly victims who have a lower cognitive ability suffer from a higher rate of abuse. Some nursing home shelters, like the one mentioned above, take victims that are referred from emergency room staff, police officers, and social service workers. Some neighbors also make referrals. These centers also train people to detect elder abuse, such as doormen, clergy, and other people in service related positions. Once an abuse victim is safely in the shelter, they are often integrated into the regular nursing home atmosphere, interacting with other residents and providing necessary support to make the victim feel safe and welcome.
Doug Stoehr is a personal injury lawyer serving western and central
Pennsylvania. He takes cases for older Pennsylvanians who have been
abused or neglected. For more information
on his Altoona, PA area practice, please call his office at
814-946-4100 or visit his website at http://www.stoehrlaw.com. Attorney
Stoehr takes cases in Blair and the seven surrounding counties.