Whether you’re trying to choose a nursing home for a family member or already have a loved one living in one, it’s critical to ensure that the place is proactive about monitoring and preventing abuse. Unfortunately, many types of abuse can occur in these environments, including emotional, physical, financial, sexual and neglect.
Families hope that the nursing home staff offer quality care to each resident. But the truth is that abuse happens. And many of these abuse cases go unreported. Here are a few warning signs to watch for so you know if the nursing home is proactively preventing abuse — and reporting situations that occur:
Watch for Signs of Abuse
The first step is to be proactive about looking for potential signs of abuse in the nursing home. Families should be watching for things such as:
- Social withdrawal
- Broken bones
- Changes in mood
- Poor hygiene
- Unpaid bills
- Missing money or valuables
- Unexplainable weight loss
If you notice these signs, then there’s a good chance that the nursing home isn’t reporting abuse because the issues are not being corrected.
Staffing in the Nursing Home
The level and quality of staffing is another indication of whether a nursing home is preventing abuse and reporting issues when needed. For example, there is often a connection between understaffing and neglect, yet the likelihood of abuse being reported is much higher.
Understaffed nursing homes might not have the resources or priorities to train staff members on how to prevent and report signs of abuse. Also, ask the nursing home about employee screening, such as background checks and work history.
Protecting Your Loved One
Nursing homes should maintain the highest level of care for every resident. But there are times when residents are mistreated in a space that should be safe and comfortable. Family engagement in choosing and monitoring a nursing home is critical to prevent abuse and identify problems in the earliest stages.
If you need more information about preventing elder abuse, our team at Senior Safe and Sound is here to assist. You are invited to contact us at info@SeniorSafeAndSound.org or 858.480.7551 at any time. This information is intended to inform the public at large about this important issue. It is not intended to serve as legal or medical advice.