For many families, it may not always be feasible to visit a loved one living in a nursing home. Whether this is due to distance or current social climates, you may be unable to consistently visit your elderly parents, or other family members, who reside in these facilities.
Unfortunately, this can lead to an increase in incidents of elder abuse. With fewer eyes physically on the patient, it is easy to miss early warning signs that something is wrong.
Family members are often the first to report abuse
According to NBCMiami.com, it is often the family members who notice and report elder abuse in nursing homes. When the social climate does not allow for visiting or you cannot regularly check up on your relative for any reason, abuse will often go unreported. Not only are many patients nonverbal themselves, but those who can speak may not report the abuse due to fear.
Video conferencing is a feasible answer
While many elderly patients in a nursing home may be unable to set up video conferencing themselves, plenty of nursing home staffers are proficient with technology. Asking about video conferencing is a great way to communicate with elderly family members and see if anything is amiss. While the telephone is always an option for patients who can speak, it is not enough to detect physical signs of abuse.
When setting up video conferencing with your relative, it is important that you ask the nurse to get a physical view of more than your loved one’s face. Ask to see his or her legs, arms and other areas where abuse may be visible.