Although people hope for the best while taking their loved ones to nursing homes, this doesn't always happen. Nursing home residents across the country get abused every day. Therefore, if you have a loved one in a nursing home, don't forget that there is always a risk of abuse and neglect. The risk is particularly high if one or more of these factors apply to your love one's case:
Your Loved One's Illness Affects Memory
Diseases that affect the memory are some of the worst because they can make one forget even their loved ones or family experiences. Unfortunately, patients suffering from such diseases, which include dementia and Alzheimer's, are usually targeted by abuse perpetrators. This is because such patients are less likely to report the abuse. Therefore, you should be extra careful if your loved one has a condition that affects their memory.
Your Loved One Is Aggressive
People react to the frailties of old age in different ways. Some become bitter and angry, especially with those they feel aren't treating them fairly. Unfortunately, some caregivers may react angrily to such patients, even lashing out at them with physical violence. Therefore, take an extra interest in your loved one's affairs and health if they fit this description.
Inadequate Nursing Home Resources
Some nursing home patients get abused, not because of their caregiver's negligence or criminal actions, but because their residences lack adequate resources to take care of them. These resources include food (such as poorly prepared meals), proper housing (think dilapidated stairs that can cause slip-and-fall accidents), and even inadequate staffing. For example, a nursing home that has a dismal staff-to-resident ratio is likely to neglect some of its residents because the available staff won't be able to take care of all of them.
Some caregivers are willing and have the best intentions of taking care of the residents under their care, but they are limited by their inadequate training. Such a caregiver or nurse may end up abusing a resident under their care despite the nurse's best intentions. Therefore, you need to confirm that the people taking care of your loved one are actually trained for the job. In some cases, caregivers hired for one role may be asked to take on more complex tasks later when those who are tasked with these complex tasks quit or get fired.
If you suspect nursing home abuse, consult a personal injury lawyer for an assessment and, hopefully, put your mind at rest. In the unfortunate event that abuse is confirmed, the lawyer can help you get restitution for your family.