As the elderly population in the United States continues to rise, so too will the number of nursing home negligence and abuse cases. The graph below shows the growing number of people 65 and older living in the United States and forecasts a steeper increase until 2050.
By 2050, nearly 25 percent of the population will consist of people 65 years and older. Perhaps with advancements in technology and medicine, the age of people living in nursing homes will increase and we will only see very old people in nursing homes. Even if that is the case, the second graph will show us that the population of people 85 and older is facing an even steeper increase.
Currently, about 12 percent of the population consists of people 85 and older. If projections hold, that number stands to double by the year 2050. As the population of the United States gets older, nursing homes will begin to flood with patients.
When you combine a large influx of elderly patients with the pre-existing notion that negligence and abuse already happen enough in nursing homes to warrant giving it its own area of law, you have a recipe for disaster. The number of nursing home negligence cases will be through the roof as nursing homes struggle to take in and care for an increase in patients like they have never seen.
Another important thing to keep in mind when sending a loved one to a nursing home is that negligence and abuse don’t always show physical signs. Residents of nursing homes are not only exposed to the frightening possibility of physical negligence and abuse, but also emotional abuse. Elderly people are an easier target made even easier when they are living in nursing homes. They may be scared of what will happen if they speak up about their abuse and are not believed by their loved ones or may have a disability that does not allow them to properly express themselves. These are the frightening prospects of sending a loved one to a nursing home.