Many states are working on reforms that would help to curb abuses. In April a new bill in Alabama that would make elder abuse a felony was pushed forward by lawmakers.
The bill was in response to the discovery that there are around 6,000 cases of nursing home abuse that take place annually, but many abuses are never reported. Hopefully the new bill will change this.
Nursing home abuse can take many forms. Oftentimes abuses occur either as neglect or financial exploitation. One example that lawmakers used to demonstrate the disparity in the crime and the way it is punished is the case of Virginia Hick. Hick worked for an elderly family member for almost four years. Charges against Hick state that during that time she exploited over $2 million from the family member she was caring for. But the sentence she received was too lenient, according to lawmakers. She received a ten year sentence that would have been the same as if Hick had stolen several hundred dollars.
The bill would make all abuses of the elderly felonies. These crimes would therefore have harsher punishments like longer prison terms. The bill is expected to go through to the house.
Nursing home abuse attorneys can help in cases where neglect or abuse has occurred, so do not hesitate to contact an attorney who can help.