Yesterday, the U.S. Census Bureau reported the number of citizens age 65 and older will more than double from their current number of 38.7 million to 88.5 million in 2050. The population of 85 and older is predicted to triple in number to 19 million from 5.4 million during the same period.
At the same time, the “working age” population, i.e. those aged 18 to 64 is expected to decrease to 57% of the popoluation from 63% currently. What this means is that there will be fewer people available to care for more elders. Will this cause an increase in nursing home abuse and/or neglect?
As any attorney who represents elders in elder abuse or elder neglect cases against nursing homes will tell you, the number one direct cause of elder abuse is a lack of staffing. Most elder abuse does not occur because the caregivers want to abuse/neglect their residents. It occurs because there aren’t enough caregivers to perform all of the necessary tasks.