The Forgotten Ones

In today’s modern age we’re quick to throw our loved ones in nursing homes, not thinking about the fact that they could possibly be abused or forgotten. They’ve spent their whole lives raising us right, and as soon we get “too old” or “too busy”, we throw them away as if they never took care of us or loved us. Instead of just giving our loved ones away without any thought, we should simply make sure that they’re going to be safe and well taken care of by their caretaker. We cannot just leave them in a random building to die.

When people think of a nursing home, they usually think of elders being well fed and taken care of, but some cases prove otherwise. Many long-term care facilities have caused deaths of senior citizens from abuse and neglect.

Family members put their loved ones in facilities with no prior knowledge about these homes. Once admitted in the home, the elderly may become neglected and forgotten because some nursing homes may lack sufficient employees to love and care for clients.

More importantly, there are not enough laws that protect these innocent people from abuse.

There have been many cases where elders are abused at the hands of their caretakers, whether being neglected for days or being hit repeatedly. At nursing homes in East Texas, both Tyler and Longview Nursing Home have been found with countless citations detailing inappropriate touching, negligence, and malnourished residents. These are just two state facilities, but there are other nursing homes in each state that are experiencing the same issues.

In one case at Woodcrest Health Center in New Milford, New Jersey, the family of an elderly Alzheimer’s patient saw photos of their mother who was left to sit in her own feces with excrement smeared across her face and food tray. The problems continued and worsened over time.

According to, up to one in six nursing home residents may be victims of abuse or neglect every year. It’s very hard for many of these cases to be detected because most people would not expect a nursing home to be the cause of such abuse. Also, more than the five cases discussed here may go unreported each year. With 3.2 million people living in long-term care facilities in the U.S, just think of how many of those patients are being abused in unreported cases that are later denied.

Nursing home abuse does not just indicate neglect. It could also be physical, sexual, psychological, or financial exploitation and even resident-to-resident abuse.

If there isn’t an end to nursing home abuse then innocent people will continue dying. Seniors who have been abused have a 300-percent greater chance of death in the three years following the abuse.

The only way families can avoid nursing home abuse is by getting research done and doing background checks on the home they’re planning to send their loved one to. Just sending your loved one to any kind of nursing home without knowing about the facility could put your loved ones in danger.

There are those who can’t afford good nursing home care. The Administration on Aging estimates that in 2010, a semi-private room in nursing homes cost around $6,235 per month, and a private room cost $6,965. If someone cannot pay for a private room for their loved one, then it could cost around $3,293 per month for a one-bedroom unit. Aside from the resident fee, you’re still going to have to be paying for home health aide and services they give your loved one, and these expenses have significantly increased since then.

Taking care of the elderly in nursing homes should be considered one of the last resorts, mostly in cases where there is no family or they are in need of special care in instances of dementia. Even then there should be inspections either by family or agents to make sure these men and women who dedicated their lives to the younger generation are not neglected and abandoned.