Elder abuse remains prevalent in Tennessee, with one of the most recent victims being , a 79-year-old man who called 911 after his caretaker failed to provide him with food for two days. The caretaker was eventually arrested after she attempted to use the victim’s debit card information at a store. However, the Tennessee Elder Abuse Task Force plans to now reveal the card up its sleeve.
On Jan 15. the task force released the final plan of recommendations, meant to deter unlawful incidents of nursing home abuse. The plan calls for eight actions to prevent the increasing number of incidents across the state. The task force, created by Tennessee lawmakers, conducted months of study to investigate the prevalence and types of nursing home abuse.
The investigation uncovered some shocking statistics of elder abuse in Tennessee, including that 90% of abuse is caused by a member of the victim’s family or a close friend. The new plan will allow state and local law enforcers to take further actions to prevent nursing home abuse through various steps, including:
- Changing state law to increase penalties
- Education and prevention in nursing homes
- Background checks for nursing home staff
- Efficient analyzing and processing for elder abuse cases
- Creation of a working group to develop a field guide for law enforcement
This plan is a new hope for the elders of Tennessee, who have faced all types of mental abuse, physical abuse, and negligence on part of their caretakers. Nearly 20% of residents in Tennessee are 60 and older – with the U.S. Census Bureau states that this percentage will grow to 24% by 2030.
Elder abuse often goes unnoticed as elders themselves fail to register what is happening, or are too embarrassed to inform the authorities. The victims are often either physically or emotionally vulnerable – they may be unable to call for help or may feel that no-one will believe them.
Seniors are also the target of various money schemes. Common schemes include taking money from elders under the pretense of fixing their house (and never fixing it), charging for unneeded magazine subscriptions, getting money by pretending to be their grandchildren, and by making phone calls insisting that they come in for jury duty or face a fine.
Even with the implementation of all actions called for in the plan, the task force states that they will have their work cut out for them. They hope to eventually empower all senior residents to deal with abuse efficiently by creating a system that will actually listen to their complaints.
If you, or someone you love, has faced emotional, mental, or physical abuse while placed in the care of a nursing home or caretaker, you may be eligible to receive compensation. Contact Morgan & Morgan for a free, no-obligation case review.