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Ways to Protect Your Loved Ones at the Elderly Care Facilities

Elderly abuse is a global epidemic, as seniors are entirely dependent on their caregivers for emotional, financial, mental, and physical support. The World Health Organization (WHO) reveals that 1 in every 6 seniors older than 60 suffers community abuse. That’s not all. 

Findings reveal that 1 out of every 3 nursing homes in the United States is held responsible for alarming cases of senior abuse. Unfortunately, nursing home abuse often goes unnoticed and unreported, especially if family members don’t maintain accountability. 

As the elderly population in the US continues to rise, more and more seniors will need long-term care facilities and programs. According to the CDC, around 27 million seniors will need long-term care facilities by 2050. Old age is a time of immense vulnerability, making people dependent on others for basic support. 

Seniors struggling with cognitive decline and mobility impairments are highly vulnerable to nursing home abuse. It is important to go the extra mile while finding elderly care facilities to safeguard one’s parents and grandparents from nursing home abuse. Read on to understand the scale and scope of this problem and how you can protect your loved ones at senior care facilities. 

Preventing Nursing Home Abuse 

Family members struggle to manage the emotional and healthcare needs of their elderly parents and grandparents. Seniors need full-time care and support, which is difficult to manage with day-to-day chores and professional obligations. An elderly care facility is the most viable option to ensure they receive the care and support they need for a fulfilling life. 

However, a lack of accountability can make seniors vulnerable to severe emotional, financial and physical harm. Prominent nursing home abuse lawyers share harrowing details of abusive staff members, negligent orderlies, and violent residents. Numerous senior abuse cases involve severe emotional abuse, physical injuries, financial exploitation, and even sexual assault. Attorneys specializing in nursing home abuse believe it is important to check in regularly and report warning signs immediately. 

The perpetrators of senior abuse include administration staff, negligent caregivers, and residents with violent tendencies. Suppose a senior family member has suffered severe emotional or physical abuse at the hands of negligent staff members. In that case, you can explore multiple legal routes to press damages and obtain compensation for the suffering. 

Ensuring a Safe Nursing Home Environment

Nursing homes don’t always provide the care and safety that family members expect them to provide, despite charging exuberantly high fees. At times, seniors suffer financial exploitation from cunning staff members who withhold basic amenities and facilities. Caregivers and orderlies typically abuse and exploit seniors who don’t receive regular visitors and have minimal family support. 

The people families hire to provide care to their elderly relatives often verbally and physically abuse them. In some cases, the lack of family supervision emboldens staff members to misbehave and even physically abuse elderly residents. In other cases, the nursing home staff is motivated by greed to exploit wealthy residents in exchange for basic necessities. 

The only way to ensure a safe nursing home environment is by visiting regularly and maintaining strict supervision. These challenges are common across popular senior care corporations and understaffed small-scale nursing homes. In many cases, the staff members regard seniors as an outlet to express their frustration over the long hours and demanding responsibilities. 

Safeguarding seniors from Greedy Staff Members 

Not all cases of senior abuse involve emotional or physical abuse. Some cases are much more complicated, involving check forgery, financial exploitation, and stolen life savings. Like children, seniors need care, love, and support, making them increasingly sensitive and vulnerable. Cunning staff members can exploit these needs and build close-knit relationships. 

Once they get close and win over their trust, they can commit many financial crimes to extort or steal money. For instance, they can attempt to steal money or financial assets from affluent residents. Staff members can also steal credit cards or obtain access codes under the pretext of assisting seniors who struggle to use them. 

Multiple reported cases involve check forgeries, stolen life savings, and credit card abuse. Maintaining financial transparency and making seniors aware of these threats is important. Family members should maintain an active presence and schedule regular visits to ensure adequate financial supervision. 

Protection against Untrained Staff 

It is common for nursing homes to recruit inexperienced and untrained staff members at cheaper rates to maximize their profits. Such recruitment decisions are typically observed in big corporations that value profits over senior care. Admitting one’s elderly parent or grandparent to a facility with untrained staff exposes them to grave risks. 

The risk of nursing home abuse is considerably higher in a facility with inexperienced and untrained staff. For instance, untrained staff members are oblivious to older adults’ unique mental and physical health challenges. They lack the training to ensure adequate monitoring and extend reliable support during emotional or physical distress. 

Untrained staff members can physically abuse seniors or withhold information and lie about physical violence committed by another resident. Suppose a nursing home has recruited a convicted felon as a staff member without running adequate background checks. In that case, the elderly residents staying in that facility are abandoned at the mercy of a criminal

Prioritizing their Emotional & Mental Wellbeing 

In 2019, family members sued an Indiana nursing home for emotionally abusing a 91-year-old resident diagnosed with dementia. Reports reveal that the resident suffered severe emotional abuse, involuntary transfers, and mismanagement of dementia symptoms. The emotional abuse and negligence accelerated the patient’s decline, resulting in untimely death. 

Newspapers are filled with alarming stories of emotional abuse leading to accidental death or accelerated disease symptoms. Staff members who misbehave and yell at residents make them emotionally and mentally vulnerable. Leaving seniors at the mercy of emotionally abusive staff members is extremely debilitating and unethical. 

There are reports detailing cases of social isolation, where residents are forcefully isolated and kept from meeting their family and friends. Family members must take an active role in monitoring their experiences and consulting the staff members to prevent mistreatment. 

Final Thoughts

Family members must go the extra mile to protect their elderly relatives against nursing home abuse. The only way to achieve this is by prioritizing due diligence and maintaining a regular presence in their lives. It is crucial to conduct diligent research and interview staff members before admitting seniors into a facility. A thorough inspection and consulting of former residents and their family members can help caregivers discover the truth.

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