Currently, some 4.5% of older adults live in nursing homes and other assisted-living centers. These long-term caregiving facilities provide the required medical attention to the residents and ensure their well-being effectively. Or, at least, they are supposed to do these things.
Today, the cases of abuse and neglect have, unfortunately, become widespread in assisted-living communities. Statistics indicated in 2020 that over two-thirds of nursing home employees sometimes admit to being abusive to residents. So, how can you prevent nursing home neglect to protect your elders?
This article explains some ways of preventing nursing home abuse. Carefully go through the below-mentioned guidelines for guidance.
How can you prevent nursing home neglect?
Remember that, even though both abuse and neglect are unignorable, they are two different things. So, nursing home neglect isn’t as violent as nursing home abuse. Understandably, neglect has become more common in long-term caregiving facilities than abuse. This article focuses mainly on the negligence older adults face in nursing homes.
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We have categorized the below-mentioned suggestions as the things you should do BEFORE and AFTER admitting your elders to caregiving communities. Do what we have asked you to do in this article and protect your elders:
Things to do BEFORE your elders starting living in nursing homes
- Know about neglect
Preventing nursing homes neglect isn’t possible without understanding how it takes place. We have mentioned some examples above. Other instances include not changing residents’ clothes regularly and not treating their ailments properly.
Learn about different types of nursing home negligence, e.g., abandonment, medical, and emotional neglect, and understand why neglect occurs so you can take preventive measures to stop the elderly from being ignored.
- Be more involved
Before your elders have been admitted, don’t forget that you play a crucial role in preventing them from nursing home negligence. You should be more involved in the well-being of older adults from the beginning.
Discuss with them what kind of care they prefer and which facilities they have in mind. Involve them in the decision-making process to make neglect less probable. Thus, make them safe before they face neglectful circumstances.
- Check that facility
Conduct research about that assisted-living facility before bringing your elders there. Ask around, read online reviews, and talk to existing residents. Analyze their well-being to evaluate the chances of your elders being happy there.
Ensure the long-term caregiving facility has the certificates it must possess with qualified staff members. Remember that visiting a facility once won’t promise the place’s safety. Visit these assisted-living facilities multiple times.
- Take some notes
While assessing the well-being of the older adults in these facilities, don’t forget to take some notes. Observe how happy and healthy these residents are there. Since you will visit these facilities many times, you can make an honest evaluation of the well-being of the residents there.
You can observe how clean their rooms are, what kind of food they are being served, etc.
- Contact LTC ombudsmen
We suggest you hire a long-term-care ombudsman to protect your elders’ interests. These experts can address all concerns regarding nursing home negligence and even help victims pursue justice legally.
Contacting LTC ombudsmen shall keep older adults happy, healthy, and secure in nursing homes. Hiring these people means you can now safely admit an old person to the care of nursing home employees.
Things to do AFTER your elders starting living in nursing homes
- Observe warning signs
After your elders have joined a nursing home, remain vigilant about the warning signs of neglect. You should call them the “red flags of elder abuse”; recognize them to protect the older adults in your family. Learn the telltale signs of neglect. For instance, here are some things you may notice when neglect is taking place:
- Some mental health problems appearing
- Hygiene issues (dirty bedsheets and unmade beds)
- Nutrition-related problems (the elderly not looking well-fed)
- Older adults developing mobility issues may indicate nursing home neglect
- Monitor their care
Monitor the well-being of your older adults to prevent nursing home abuse. Remember that the family members monitoring the care of older adults can stop these adults from facing neglect.
As we said before, you must monitor certain signs to discover negligence and take necessary actions against it. Stay involved in medical decision-making about the health of the elderly in your family. Moreover, communicate with their doctors, nurses, and caregivers.
- Communicate with staff
Staying in contact with your elders’ caregiver can help you prevent nursing home neglect. Establish social connections with the staff working at that facility to earn their trust. Creating this bond with them shall keep them on their toes when it comes to caring for older adults.
Remain proactive about the well-being of your older adults. Communicate effectively with the people responsible for keeping them healthy. In short, speaking with the staff there reduces the chances of nursing home neglect.
- Review financial records
Some forms of nursing home neglect may happen financially. However, reviewing financial records can prevent a dishonest employee from stealing your older adults’ money. For instance, Better Call Saul depicted financial abuse when nursing homes overcharge unsuspecting residents for petty stuff such as aspirin.
So, reviewing receipts can help you understand if the elderly are being abused. Be involved in financial decision-making and prevent corrupt staff members from robbing you blind.
- Get legal help
When the elderly suffer from neglect, consider contacting legal experts to seek justice. Hiring an attorney can help you receive the compensation needed for the well-being of the elderly. An attorney can collect the evidence necessary to prove this negligence happened. If you deem it fine, bringing a lawsuit can deter future cases of neglect. You can save other old folks from abuse too.
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In conclusion, this article suggests preventing elders from abuse and neglect in nursing homes. Perform due diligence before admitting them, such as researching caregiving facilities, visiting them frequently, and talking to already present residents. After admitting your elders to these assisted-living facilities, do remember to watch out for the warning signs of negligence. Hire LTC ombudsmen to protect your elders’ rights and contact experienced lawyers to bring charges against negligent nursing home facilities.