NURSING HOME NEGLECT & ABUSE
If the time has come for you to get help for your loved one, you are probably considering many care options. The major distinction between these care options is if the assistance will take place in the home, or if your loved one will have to live at a facility. If your loved one needs a considerable amount of help, the latter might be the right choice for him or her. The nursing home is the most common option, but there are other options available to you. They include:
- Assisted Living Facility: If your loved one is still fairly independent, but needs part-time care and assistance, an assisted living facility will offer help while allowing your loved one to maintain a considerable amount of freedom.
- Memory Care Units: If your loved one is suffering from a progressive memory loss disease such as dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, he or she can get specialized care for these issues in a memory care unit.
- Skilled Nursing Facility: Similar to a nursing home, this facility is certified to provide intensive medical care that most regular nursing homes do not provide.
- Nursing Home: A standard nursing home will offer your loved one round-the-clock assistance from registered nurses, nursing assistants, licensed practical nurses, and other staff members. A nursing home will offer general services and might offer specialized services for your loved one.
Making A Decision
When choosing a care facility for your loved one, you should take several factors into consideration. A few of the basic things that you should look out for are:
Neglect And Abuse
Even if you find a reputable nursing home that you feel comfortable with, neglect and abuse are always possibilites. Elderly people in a care facility are at a higher risk for neglect and abuse than other people are due to factors such as:
- Their physical, mental, and financial vulnerabilities.
- Unqualified employees in homes.
- Poor communication between staff members about residents.
- Failure to properly monitor residents.
- Lack of continued education for staff members.
- Uncertainty regarding what neglect and abuse are.
- Medical errors.
There are many types of neglect and abuse that you should be aware of beyond the basics. Several common types of abuse include:
- Physical Abuse: This is probably the most recognized and known form of abuse. It includes any unwanted or violent touching toward your loved one.
- Emotional Abuse: While not as easy to see as physical abuse, emotional abuse can have a strong impact on your loved one. This includes any negative or abusive language toward your loved one, or any attempts to make him or her feel inferior or lower his or her self-esteem.
- Sexual Abuse: Many do not realize that sexual abuse is possible in nursing homes. Especially for residents with memory issues, sexual abuse may be present. Sexual abuse is defined as unwanted or unsolicited touching or sexual acts.
- Financial Abuse: Your loved one can be abused financially by other residents or staff members in nursing homes. This can occur if your loved one’s property is stolen or if someone tries to steal your loved one’s identity.
- Medical Errors: Sometimes, staff members and doctors make mistakes. If a medical mistake that could have been avoided occurs, and it results in an injury for your loved one, you might have a medical error or medical malpractice case. Be sure to communicate with the staff members that take care of your loved one in an attempt to prevent these issues.
- Neglect: Neglect in nursing homes can be very common. Sometimes, staff members are overworked and get too busy to give your loved one the attention that he or she deserves. In other cases, they purposefully ignore your loved one in an attempt to punish him or her. If your loved one goes without basic needs, such as food, water, medication, exercise, proper clothing, shelter, etc., he or she is the victim of neglect.
Injuries happen in nursing homes, and not all of them are the result of neglect or abuse. Genuine accidents happen, even when protocols are being followed. However, here are some of the most common nursing home injuries that you should be on the lookout for. In most cases, these injuries should be prevented if the staff members are doing their jobs correctly. If your loved one gets one of these injuries, you might want to consider looking into the home and how it is treating your loved one.
- Bedsores: Bedsores are one of the most common nursing home injuries. Bedsores occur when a person requires the assistance of someone else to get out of bed and walk around, and that person does not receive the help needed on a regular basis. Nursing home residents should be shifted every few hours to avoid extended pressure on joints and bones. This pressure can lead to pressure sores (bedsores) that can range in severity from irritation of the skin to the erosion of skin around bones.
- Falls: Many nursing home residents need help getting around. If they do not receive this help and try to move on their own, they can fall down, which can lead to serious complications for the elderly, such as broken bones, head or spine injuries, etc.
- Malnourishment: If your loved one is not properly fed, he or she may become malnourished at a nursing home. This can lead to dizzy spells, muscle fatigue, weakness, and the improper functioning of body parts.
- Broken Bones: Because elderly people’s bones are more fragile than younger people’s bones, rough handling, minor slips, and more can lead to broken bones.
- Infection: When illnesses and wounds are not properly treated, complications such as infections can arise. For the elderly, infections can be serious.
If you suspect that your loved one is the victim of neglect or abuse in a nursing home, please contact our office today.