The abuse of any human being is tragic. The abuse of the elderly in nursing homes is even more so. These are people who are so extremely vulnerable and defenseless at times against their abuser. What may be even more tragic is the lack of accountability of these facilities. In the State of Minnesota there is a significant issue of serious cases going uninvestigated. There are a number of complaints and potential cases but the amount that are actually seriously investigated are extremely low.
In an article produced in the Star Tribune, a Twin Cities newspaper it says the following:
“Last year alone, the Minnesota Department of Health received 25,226 allegations of neglect, physical abuse, unexplained serious injuries, and thefts in state-licensed homes for the elderly.
Ninety-seven percent were never investigated.”
Because these allegations are not checked into, there are no penalties, fines or any actions taken on these facilities to correct the issues. Many of the issues are happening without the facility’s management even knowing. Even if they wanted to make adjustments to protect their residents or remove caregivers that may be harming or neglecting their patients without proper investigation necessary action doesn’t happen and corrective measures are not taken.
It is important for government entities to take proper action. These allegations can not go overlooked. If these vulnerable adults were instead children there would likely be more action. Don’t let the fact that this may not be an issue that directly influences your life or the life of your loved ones be a reason that you do not let your voice be heard. Write your local representatives and demand better care for the elderly.