Understanding Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect

Nursing

Nursing homes are a lifeline for the elderly and disabled community. While the vast majority of nursing home workers are dedicated to being professional and keeping their staff healthy, there are also abusive staff members who abuse or neglect their residents. Knowing the facts about nursing home abuse, how you can prevent it, and what you can do about it, is key. This handy guide will guide you through this difficult situation: 

Identifying The Problem

A housing option for people with impairments or for those unable to live independently is assisted living. An assisted living facility has a setting that resembles a retirement community with a social atmosphere. Unfortunately, since employees are there to help keep the facility clean, and to keep the patients safe, mistakes (and sometimes purposeful neglect) are made that severely affect a patient’s safety (or overall health). 

In assisted living facilities, there are five main types of elder assisted living abuse. These abuses include neglect, financial exploitation, sexual abuse, psychological, abuse emotional abuse, and physical assault. There are ten signs of abuse that you should always be on the lookout for: 

-Depression

-Sudden Behavioral Changes

-Bruises and Unexplained INjuries

-STDs

-Skin Irritation

-Sudden Memory Issues

-Fearfulness

-PTSD Symptoms

-Suspicious Monetary Activity

-UTIs

 Abuse in assisted living facilities can have terrible repercussions for victims. The abuse could even cause fatalities or perhaps life-long disability. Families of residents in assisted living facilities should be aware of any abrupt or unforeseen personality changes as these could be signs of sexual abuse. Abuse can be stopped more quickly if you can identify it. Oftentimes, victims are afraid to come forward, so being ready to look for signs of abuse, and readying yourself to confront an abusive facility/staff, is incredibly important. Speaking of which… 

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How to Prevent Nursing Home Abuse

The safety and quality of nursing homes often depend on the professionalism and dedication of the staff members that run them. Recent studies have revealed a strong relationship between the number of nurses and nurse assistants, the staff turnover rate, the number of beds in a facility, and the overall number of events involving patient abuse. These studies also show that when there is not enough staff to care for the residents of assisted living homes, abuse, and neglect are far more likely to occur.

There are laws in place to help deal with nursing home abuse and staff mismanagement. A specific staff-to-resident ratio is mandated by law for nursing homes and assisted living institutions. Nonetheless, despite the laws and rules in existence, these facilities might continue to save money by cutting costs. Knowing how well and ethically the nursing home your loved one resides in will help you feel confident that they’re getting the care they need. 

To prevent nursing home abuse and neglect, there’s a need for proper training that is both comprehensive and ongoing. Additionally, family members should have wide access to visitation. An open, transparent environment is key to helping patients and their family members feel satisfied. The more policy-focused, professional, and well-trained a nursing home staff is, the less likely that abuse and neglect will become an issue. 

Reporting Nursing Home Abuse

Many people assume that nursing home abuse is easy to spot and that it’s likely to be reported promptly. Sadly, it happens frequently that elder abuse and neglect go ignored. This happens in part because abuse incidents go unreported or are challenging to find. Elderly people frequently have medical issues that can make it challenging for them to adequately record the incident, which puts them in a dangerous and vulnerable situation. 

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Your first priority in cases of nursing home abuse is to treat the victim and get them into a safer environment. After the immediate threat has been reported and eliminated, you might think about filing a lawsuit. This approach can be quite effective at preventing repeat offenses from happening to others in the future in addition to bringing the guilty parties to justice. Thankfully, there are a ton of qualified, professional nursing home lawyers that can help you gain the compensation you need, and assist you in holding the abusive facility and/or staff member accountable.

Keep Your Elderly Loved One’s Safe

The more in sync you are with your elderly loved one, the better. If they have a deep trust in you, and you stay up-to-date with their life in the nursing home, you can help them quickly in the unfortunate scenario that they’re being abused. Additionally, you can look for signs of abuse more easily. Thankfully, the vast majority of nursing homes run a tight ship that helps prevent dangerous nursing home abuse.

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