Nursing home abuse is a real problem that should be discussed more often than it is in today’s society. Too often, people think about nursing homes as a place where they can “store” the elderly and where they don’t have to worry about their care.
The reality is that a nursing home is just another location for your loved one to live. There are no guarantees that they’ll be safe there, even if they are supposed to be provided for. It’s still your responsibility to make sure you review your loved one’s care and be certain that they aren’t taken advantage of or mistreated.
Why do elders get abused in some nursing homes?
There are many reasons. Some common things that lead to elder abuse in nursing homes include:
- Patients who are treated by negligent or abusive care providers
- Patients who cannot follow directions and who frustrate workers
- Patients who get on the “wrong side” of employees
None of these situations grants anyone a right to mistreat your loved one. Even if they are frustrating, difficult to deal with or have reduced mental capacity, they deserve respect and care.
What should you do if your loved one appears to have suffered abuse?
Don’t jump to conclusions. First, ask about any wounds or changes in behavior. Find out if your loved one is taking new medications by doctor’s orders, if they’ve fallen or have self-inflicted wounds. It’s easier for the elderly to bruise and suffer cuts, so not all wounds are indicative of abuse.
However, if there are no explanations, it’s time to take your case further. You have a right to look into your legal options and the ways you can protect your loved one against abuse.