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Risk factors that could lead to physical or mental elder abuse

Your parents are beginning to reach a particular stage of life. A stage where everyday tasks have become more challenging to manage. In-home care or admission into a nursing home or long-term or assisted living facility has begun to reveal itself as the best option to ensure your loved one receives the assistance they need.

If you can take in your elder parent, that’s great, but a parent moving in isn’t a great option for many families. In-home caregivers, nursing homes and assisted living facilities are supposed to be beacons of support and comfort for the elderly. They are supposed to be a safe space for elders to live out their remaining years surrounded by kind administrations and nurses who kindly and appropriately provide the care they need.

A sad fact is that comfort and support are not the reality for some seniors in long-term care facilities. Elder abuse is an issue, but to protect your elderly loved ones, the Nursing Home Abuse Center has identified risk factors that present themselves among caregivers and those working at nursing homes and assisted living facilities.

Caregiver risk factors for possibly committing elder abuse include:

  • The caregiver displays poor physical or mental health
  • Are financially or emotionally dependent on the elder individual
  • The elder displays poor physical or mental health than can be exploited
  • The caregiver cannot easily access elder care services and supplies
  • Does not like senior citizens
  • Is addicted to alcohol or controlled substances
  • Was poorly trained on caregiving duties
  • Easily agitated
  • Was exposed to or experienced abuse as a child

Elders abuse may be more prevalent in nursing homes and assisted living facilities if:

  • The facility hires nurses and attendants without adequately vetting them (background checks)
  • High staff turnover
  • The administration lacks control and oversight of its staff
  • Staff are overworked and burnt out due to understaffed and stressful work environment
  • Staff displays negative emotions to elders

Whether considering long term care options or vetting the home that your loved one currently resides, keep an eye open for these red flags that could lead to physical or mental abuse.


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