Preventing Nursing Home Abuse
Nursing Homes can be a great way to be sure that a loved one is taken care of, even late in life. Nursing Homes provide essential services such as medical care, day-to-day lifestyle services, housing, meals, and other resources to accommodate seniors and medical patients who need attentive care. However, in some cases, nursing homes fall short of their goals to the detriment of those in their care. It is important to work proactively to prevent nursing home abuse and neglect, and to watch out for the health and safety of your loved ones.
There are numerous ways to prevent nursing home neglect. The first step, after deciding that a nursing home is the best course of option to care for your loved one, is to thoroughly investigate any and all nursing homes that you are considering. Taking a tour, meeting with nursing home staff, learning about their facilities and taking a holistic look at the services provided is an important aspect of choosing a nursing home. It may be beneficial to research the facility online, speak with any current residents, meet with the families of current or former patients in the facility, and ask your doctor or other medical providers for recommendations. Putting aside any biases or preconceived notions to reach an unbiased conclusion about any facility in question will be important to making an informed decision about where to move your loved one.
Secondly, it is important to maintain a relationship with the patient in the facility and to keep a watchful eye for neglect and abuse. There are many warning signs for neglect and abuse, the most common forms of which are emotional, basic needs/personal hygiene, and medical neglect. Physical abuse is also not unheard of and psychological abuse has occurred in nursing homes before. Be on the lookout for the signs and signals that your loved one may be suffering from these types of neglect and abuse, so that you can act properly if you reach the conclusion that action needs to be taken.
Thirdly, it is important to act appropriately if you discover that any abuse has taken place. Contact an attorney immediately to ensure that the rights and health of your loved one are addressed. It may also be prudent to consider moving your loved one to a new facility, raising an issue with upper management, or removing your loved one from the situation altogether. In all, it is important to know what to look for and to act appropriately if anything negative happens.