When a loved one is in a nursing home, you want them to have a good time there. You don’t want to imagine that they are being mistreated or abused, especially by people who are supposed to care for them. Unfortunately, not all nursing homes are able to deliver the care they advertise, and end up neglecting, exploiting, or abusing their residents.
If you watch the news, you may have heard of cases where elders have been abused in nursing homes and how they got punished. Unfortunately, there may still be abuse that goes undetected. Seeing the situations unfolding in nursing homes all over the world, you want to make sure that your loved ones never experience nursing home abuse.
So, in this article, we will present some ways to prevent neglect, abuse, and exploitation of residents in nursing homes.
Table of Contents
Meet the Primary Caregivers
One way to prevent abuse of residents in nursing homes is to know who the primary caregivers are. When your elderly family member has to go to a nursing home, make sure to meet the caregivers. Get the name, talk to them, and learn as much as you can about them.
Now, it may be hard to spot a bad caregiver because they will most likely try to put on a mask in front of you so that you don’t suspect anything. But don’t stop contacting them after the first meeting. Do your best to have talks with the caregivers now and then until you get to know them well. You may be able to see some red flags over time.
Always Pay Attention to Prescribed Medications
It’s normal for some elderly individuals in nursing homes to need medication. Many of them are dealing with health issues that require the use of special drugs. If your loved one is prescribed anything, keep a close watch over the medications.
A while ago, it was discovered that out of 14% of the nursing homes that made antipsychotic medication claims, 83% involved off-label use. So, they may have been offered to the wrong age group, in the wrong dosage, or for a condition that was not approved.
See what medication your loved one was given and make sure it’s right. Always know what the family member should and shouldn’t be taking. This way, you’ll spot potential issues.
Monitor Mood Changes
No matter how old or healthy your loved one is, there will always be obvious signs of abuse, especially in the person’s mood and behavior. It’s up to you to pay attention to these changes. Now, some mood changes may have to do with illness, aging, or other factors. But most of the time, you will be able to tell if something’s wrong, especially if this mood persists the next time you visit him/her.
Even if you have a slight thought that there’s any abuse and you think you’re probably overthinking it, you shouldn’t rule out the possibility. Always trust your gut. If you have a feeling that something is wrong, don’t hesitate to investigate. The safety and well-being of your loved one matter the most.
Check up on their social life and medications and find out as much about them as you can. If there’s any abuse, you’ll find out, and you’ll be able to do something about it.
Talk to Them Regularly
Don’t forget about your loved one once they’re in a nursing home. When you don’t check in regularly, this will not only make them more vulnerable to abuse, but it will also make it less likely for you to find out about the situation in advance.
Check in with your loved one in any way you can, whether that’s by visiting them, setting up a video chat, or calling them. This will show that the elderly individual is not isolated and it will also give them a chance to tell you about what’s going on.
Another thing you can do is switch up your visits. Don’t only show up at the same time. Surprise the caregivers, as this won’t give them time to put on the nice mask before you show up.
Nursing home abuse is a serious issue. Fortunately, there are ways to prevent it. Check in with your loved one regularly and visit them. Also, get to know the primary caregivers and pay attention to the prescription medication they’re taking.
There are numerous residents in nursing homes all over the US, with around 110,000 of them in California. This means there are also many professionals ready to help you if you’ve discovered elderly abuse. Businesses like the Senior Justice Law Firm are ready to help you seek justice.