The day has finally come that you no longer have the time or means to take care of your mother, father, grandparent, sibling or any loved one. Your work hours are hectic, you have your own family to tend to and you can’t afford a live in nurse or 24 hour care. You have searched frantically through endless listings of nursing homes, followed a few recommendations and battled with your insurance company to find out who can be covered.
When you think that you finally found the right nursing home you walk through the doors and see the nurse aides assisting elderly patients down the corridor. While you are taking the tour and being well informed by the facilities director on all of the reasons why this home is the right home do they include the report of how many instances of abuse their home has been charged with? Do they give you credentials for each nursing assistant and inform you of all of the complaints that have been documented by the state? The answer is a resounding no! You have to initiate your right to be informed and find out these things because it could save you an unnecessary loss of your loved one in the end.
Nursing home abuse is so common these days, at a rate of 30% it is frightening to consider that the majority of cases go without being reported. Gross negligence in nursing homes is greatly attributed to the deficit of nurses and nurse aides, and the lack of attention afforded to individual patients. Mental and physical abuses are ranked as the highest forms of abuse in a nursing home, but there are many types of inadequate care that poses a threat.
• Starvation, malnutrition, weight loss and dehydration
• Falls from improper lifting, transfers and negligent supervision
• Over-medication, lack of medication and wrong medication
• Bed sores resulting from bedridden patients which may become septic
• Sexual abuse and beatings
• Broken bones
• Pneumonia and blood born infections
• Wrongful death
With careful selection of an individual home, frequent visits, and direct involvement in care you can prevent a number of these things from taking place. Be concerned and know your rights as well as the patient’s rights. You should never be afraid to ask for documentation, background checks, and research the facilities complaints; all of these things are public knowledge. If your relative has been a victim of nursing home abuse you should contact a lawyer who specializes in nursing home abuse.