Many people struggle with the thought of moving an elderly loved one into a nursing home or assisted living facility. They worry that their loved one will feel abandoned, experience a loss of independence or, worse, be abused.
In most cases, you can expect that your loved one will be well taken care of and treated with respect. Unfortunately, cases of nursing home abuse and neglect make the news at a rate frequent enough to give people second thoughts about utilizing one of these care facilities.
When you are considering moving someone into a nursing home, you have a right to ask questions. It may make you feel more at ease with your decision when you take the time to visit several care facilities and getting answers to your concerns. Knowing how you and your family can help prevent elder care abuse can also help to put your mind at rest.
Visiting your loved one often will help make them feel more comfortable in their own home. Aside from ensuring that your loved one is comfortable, frequent visits will help protect them from abuse. Studies have shown that residents at the greatest risk of abuse or neglect have few visitors.
When residents lack visitors, they are more at risk of receiving insufficient care. When you show up unexpectedly and frequently, the staff may be more compelled to provide your loved one with the care you expect.
When you do visit your loved one, keep your eyes open. Don’t be so focused on your family member that you don’t see what is going on around you or them. Residents sitting in hallways for no apparent reason, unpleasant smells or low-quality food can all be indicators of a problem. Look for programming available to residents, and be observant of how engaged the residents are with one another and staff. Above all, trust your gut. If something seems off, investigate it further.
Take the time to cultivate relationships with the staff. These are the people who will be in charge of your loved one’s care. When staff communicates regularly with family members, they are more likely to provide an exceptional level of care to a resident. Remember that if you do make friends with the staff or management, you should never feel afraid to ask questions. It can be difficult questioning the people we are close to, but keeping your loved one safe and well-cared for is always your first priority.
If you become suspicious of harmful activity, you need to file a complaint with the appropriate agency in your state immediately. Your complaint could lead to an investigation that may save not only your loved one, but other residents in the care facility. Care centers that allow abuse or neglect to occur must be reported. In some cases, it is a single employee who is abusing staff unbeknownst to management. Your complaint could help to weed out poorly performing employees.
Never be afraid to speak up against elder abuse and nursing home neglect. The more information you gather, the more you should share. When people advocate for their loved ones, those loved ones are more likely to receive the care they deserve. Keep in mind that not every resident of a nursing home has friends or family acting on their behalf. By advocating for safe nursing home care, you are speaking on behalf of the voiceless.
No one should have to worry about their loved one being abused while being cared for by someone else. When you entrust the care of a loved one to professionals, you have a right to assume that they will be treated with love and kindness. Before you choose a care facility for your loved one, perform your due diligence. Research each facility you are considering and ask questions. You may be able to prevent abuse before it begins.
If you suspect that a loved one is being abused or neglected at the nursing home you have chosen, you have rights. Contact our experienced team of attorneys for more information about how we can assist you and your family. Steinger, Iscoe & Greene is here to help. We understand the myriad of emotions you are dealing with and want to help you seek justice. Call today for a free case evaluation or browse our website for more information about our firm and the types of cases we handle.