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Elder Abuse

Recent reports indicate that elder abuse in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities throughout our Georgia communities has become a shockingly common problem. The United States Administration on Aging estimates that at least 10% of older Americans, constituting over 5 million individuals, experience abuse each year, with many of those individuals experiencing multiple forms of abuse. Unfortunately studies indicate that less than 1 in 14 cases of abuse are reported to authorities or prosecuted civilly or criminally in the courts.

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In addition to the prevalence of elder abuse in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities in Griffin, Atlanta, Marietta and other Georgia communities, the long-term damage the abuse causes can be devastating to the abused individuals and their families, both from a health perspective and financially. According to reports from the National Center on Elder Abuse, when elders are abused they are twice as likely as younger people to be hospitalized as a result of the abuse and four times as likely to die. Reports indicate that more than $2.6 billion is lost due to abuse and exploitation of older Americans. As stated by the World Health Organization, "Elder abuse is a violation of human rights and a significant cause of injury, loss of productivity, isolation and despair." With the United States Department of Health estimating that the US population age 60 or older will increase from 57 million in 2010 to 65.7 million in 2015, the problem of elder abuse in Georgia has the potential to get even worse.

If you have any reason to believe that a loved one or friend has been the victim of elder abuse, please report it. If there is immediate danger, call the police. You can also reach the Georgia Department of Community Health to report abuse in nursing facilities. In metro-Atlanta, the Department can be reached at (404) 657-5728 or (404) 657-5726, and outside of the metro-Atlanta area, the Department can be reached at 1-(800) 878-6442. You also can submit a complaint online with the Georgia Department of Human Resources and then contact our firm to explore your legal rights.

For more on Healthcare Facility Regulation, visit the Department of Community Health

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