Nursing home neglect and abuse are serious problems -- and they can make those whose loved ones are in a nursing home feel helpless. When you ask questions of the staff or administration about your loved one's declining mental state, the bruises you see or other concerns that you have, you're told that their condition is a reflection of their age and nothing more.
When your loved one is in a nursing home, changes in their behavior or a sudden decline in their health can make you nervous. Maybe you see some unusual bruises on their arms or face, or maybe you're concerned that they seem withdrawn and depressed. The administration at the nursing home or the shift nurse assures that everything is fine and dismisses everything you're concerned about as a normal part of aging.
You've been married for over 40 years when you begin to suspect that your spouse may be suffering from Alzheimer's Disease. When the doctor's diagnosis confirms your suspicions, you realize that for your spouse's continued safety and well-being, they need to be transitioned to a facility that is able to care for and monitor them while you work.
When considering the ways that nursing home patients can suffer from neglect or abuse, many people don't realize that psychological abuse is perpetuated on some residents by staff or even other residents. This is particularly challenging to identify and prove when it's suspected.
If you have a loved one who is a patient in a nursing home or other long term care facility, you likely worry a great deal about the care that they receive. Is it sufficient? Are their needs being met? Are their caregivers treating them well?
As people age, it's true that they may bruise more easily. The kinds of bumps and scratches you'd ignore and forget about as a teen or young adult become much more obvious over the years. As an elderly person, bruising happens very easily due to thin skin, medications and other causes.
Nursing home abuse is something that can, and does, happen in some nursing homes. It's unfortunate, but patients who rely on medical care and support may not receive even the basic attention that they need.
One thing that has the potential to lead to nursing home abuse is a lack of oversight and regular staff changes. When a nursing home changes hands, it can leave the staff and the patients without the necessary support that they need.
It was an agonizing decision to place your loved one in a nursing home. Still, you believe that it was the best decision that you could make since their dementia required a level of caregiving that you were ill-equipped to provide.
At any given time, there are more than 5 million residents of long-term care facilities here in the United States. For most, this will be their last residence here on Earth. Even for those whose health dictates a temporary stay, the conditions they encounter at these nursing homes and skilled nursing facilities could shorten their lives precipitously.