A woman in Indiana claims that her second stroke and the bedsores she acquired while recuperating was a result of nursing home neglect. The death of an elderly man in Chicago is suspected by the police to be a product of nursing home abuse. These are just two of the many news headlines this week highlighting the insidious problems of abuse and neglect in nursing home and elderly care facilities across the county.
Every year, over 500,000 reports of nursing home abuse and neglect are reported to the Adult Protective Services, and it is estimated that this staggering number represents only a quarter of the incidences that actually occur in caregiving facilities for elders. While much still needs to be done on personal, institutional, local, and federal levels to address this problem, the Tennessee-based organization, Senior Crimestoppers, has played a starring role in dramatically decreasing neglect, abuse, and other crimes in nursing homes in Tennessee and across the country.
Senior Crimestoppers is a non-profit organization dedicated to keeping elders in nursing homes safe from theft, neglect, and abuse, and has reported a 94% decreases in crime volume in participating homes. Senior Crimestoppers’ method is simple, proactive, and effective. Staff and residents are trained to recognize the signs of abuse and other crimes and are empowered to report suspected cases via an anonymous helpline call to the Memphis-based organization. Individuals are financially compensated for their honest reporting of harmful incidences-these have included everything from stolen dolls to sexual abuse by caregivers-and the evidence strongly suggests that it works.
Tennesseans should be proud to provide a home base for this organization that puts into practice many of the safety measures that the law, alone, can’t. If you have a loved one in need of, or living in, a nursing home, find out if it is a participant in Senior Crimestoppers. As this week’s national news headlines show, nursing home abuse and neglect are real problems and organizations like Senior Crimestoppers should be utilized to their fullest. However, if the preventative measures of thorough research, regular visits to your beloved elders, and participation in Senior Crimestoppers have not been enough to prevent the neglect or abuse of an elder you know, we can help you with our compassionate legal expertise.