Understandably, there is a fine line between preserving an individual's right to privacy and protecting a person who might not be able to fend for him- or herself, even if a certain amount of privacy is sacrificed in the process. Adult children in New Mexico who oversee the care of a parent in a nursing home or other assisted living facility might take interest in a recent situation in another state where some have proposed an idea that they believe will help prevent elder abuse. The idea, however, comes at a cost -- one that opponents say is not worth it when it comes to a person's right to privacy.
The average life expectancy for a person living in the United States is just shy of 79 years of age. Compared to 1950, that represents an increase of about 10 years. By 2025, many experts believe that life expectancy in our country will be over 80 years of age. With an increasing number of elderly individuals living in the United States, including in New Mexico, more Americans will require care in a nursing home. Regrettably, some of them may be at risk of nursing home abuse.
Most Americans will live to be approximately 79 years of age. However, average life expectancies have been rising steadily since 1950. Ten years from now, the average lifespan for individuals living in New Mexico and the rest of the United States should be more than 80. With more elderly people in the Untied States, we must be on alert for any instances of elder abuse happening to the ones we love.
According to a study completed in 2010, approximately 5 million Americans in New Mexico and other parts of the nation are victimized by elder abuse each year. This elder abuse results in approximately $5 billion in extra medical expenditures to treat the victims’ injuries. Further, those who suffer from this kind of abuse have triple the chance of being hospitalized and quadruple the chance of being put in a nursing home.