If you have a parent living in a nursing home, you want them to be well-cared for and safe. Unfortunately, nursing homes don't always provide the safe environment that they should. In fact, according to a study conducted in 2000, 44% of all nursing home residents have been the victim of abuse. The same study found that more than 50% of nursing home employees admitted to having mistreated patients. Sadly, many nursing home patients are either unable, or unwilling to speak out against their abusers. If you have a loved one in a nursing home, here are some things you need to know about abuse. This information may help you protect someone you love.
What is Nursing Home Abuse?
Because elderly patients are often too weak to fight back, nursing home abuse can take on many forms. Here are two common types of nursing home abuse.
Physical abuse is any action against your loved one that is of a physical nature. Hitting, pushing and even restraining your loved one for long periods of time are all forms of physical abuse. In addition, physical abuse can also include refusing to allow your loved one to have the medication they're in need of.
Many elderly patients are the victim of neglect. Neglect can be as simple as leaving your loved one in dirty clothes, or as dangerous as failing to feed your loved one nutritious food.
How to Recognize It
There are ways that you can recognize nursing home abuse. One way to recognize it includes watching for the physical signs. Look for unexplained bruises or sores, especially those that are symmetrical on both sides of the body. It's also important that you watch for signs of withdrawal or fear. For instance, does your loved one withdraw when you attempt physical contact. Do they appear to be fearful when a specific employee walks into the room? These may all be signs of abuse.
How Can It Be Prevented?
Luckily, nursing home abuse can be prevented, especially if you're pro-active. If your loved one tells you that they're being abused, listen to them. It's also important that you visit as often as possible. If your loved one has frequent visitors, the nursing staff may be less likely to abuse your loved one. This is particularly true if you make it a habit to drop in unexpectedly.
If you suspect that your parent is the victim of nursing home abuse, you need to seek help as soon as possible. Contact your local law enforcement official and file a complaint. You should also sit down with a nursing home abuse attorney. They'll help you protect your loved one.Share