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Elder abuse on the rise as baby boomers age

New Mexico residents who have a senior loved one in a nursing home may worry about their well-being. Elder abuse occurs when a senior is emotionally, mentally, sexually or physically abused by a caregiver.

One case in North Carolina is particularly disturbing. A woman suspected that the nursing home, which housed her blind 86-year-old mother with Alzheimer's disease, was allowing abuse to occur by her caregivers. The daughter bought a picture frame that had a small hidden camera inside of it and placed it on her mother's counter. Within 24 hours of installing the camera, she recorded two instances of abuse.

She immediately took the video to management. After viewing the video, which included proof of the senior being emotionally and physically abused, the two staff members involved were fired. The assistant district attorney chose not to press charges. The daughter is pursuing media outlets to help as she wants future employers of the terminated staff members to know of their history of elder abuse.

As the baby boomer generation ages, cases of elder abuse are expected to rise. Caregivers have the responsibility to treat those in their charge with dignity and respect. When they fail to do so, the nursing home may have behaved negligently and might be legally responsible. An experienced elder abuse lawyer may be able to file a lawsuit against the nursing home in such an instance. In this case, the nursing home might have behaved negligently by not doing due diligence when hiring the staff members or not managing them properly by continually checking for signs of mistreatment.

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