An investigation into nursing homes in Kentucky found that elder abuse and neglect likely occurred in roughly 18 percent of investigations that involved residents of long-term care facilities in the state, according to Kentucky.com.
In 2010, social workers conducted over 2,000 investigations into allegations of abuse and neglect in a variety of long-term care facilities and discovered that mistreatment likely occurred in 368 of those investigations. However, the actual number of abuse and neglect incidents is probably much higher, since it is often difficult to determine if nursing home residents have been abused due to a lack of evidence and the fact that residents are often unable to describe what happened. It’s also hard to prove abuse allegations among the elderly who don’t live in nursing homes.
Over 7,000 investigations of abuse among people over 60 were conducted in Kentucky in 2010, with probable abuse found in 1,859. However, only 316 resulted in criminal charges. Fortunately, though, even if charges aren’t filed, usually the perpetrators are removed from the nursing homes.
What is surprising to Kentucky nursing home abuse attorney and other citizens is that the study also showed that the elderly aren’t the only ones harmed in nursing homes. There were 975 investigations in Kentucky in 2010 regarding individuals between the ages of 18 and 59 in nursing homes. Of those, social workers found abuse most likely happened in 204 cases.
It’s truly tragic that residents of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities that are among the most vulnerable in our population are ever abused or neglected. As this study shows, it’s not at all uncommon in Kentucky.