Many questions and concerns should be considered when an individual and their family members or guardian explore long-term residential care options. The terminology used to describe these residential facilities varies. For example, they may be referred to as group homes, care homes, or residential care facilities. Sadly, one consideration concerns whether placing an individual in such a facility exposes them to the risk of abuse.
The development of group homes resulted from a societal need to provide care to vulnerable people with complex care needs. Care homes are designed to help such people by providing a communal environment where health and social care providers meet the cognitive and physical needs of the residents on a 24-hour basis. Unfortunately, this is not always the case, as many residents suffer from the harmful effects of neglect or abuse.
Statistics regarding the amount of abuse that goes in these facilities shocks the conscience. An organization based in Los Angeles called The Disability and Abuse project, a group whose focus aims at combating physical, sexual, and emotional abuse of people with developmental or intellectual disabilities collected important data concerning this issue. In conducting a recent nationwide survey, they gathered more than 7,200 responses.
The results of the survey found that 70% of those with developmental disabilities in group homes had been neglected, assaulted, or otherwise physically or sexually abused. More than 50% of these individuals alleged suffering physical abuse, while 41% reported sexual abuse. Similar studies have shown that people with developmental disabilities are more likely to be victims of abuse by someone they know. Unfortunately, they are also more likely to remain in abusive conditions. Although these statistics may appear to be alarming, experts believe they are actually understated, as a considerable amount of the abuse that takes place is never reported. Regrettably, the abuse occurring in these residential facilities often affects victims who are less likely to have access to the justice system, such as being able to consult with an attorney.
If you suspect your loved one has suffered and been the victim of abuse within a group home, call The Yost Legal Group today at 1-800-YOST-LAW (800-403-7259), for a free consultation with one of our experienced attorneys.