Putting yourself or a loved one in a nursing home can be a stressful task which often becomes the last resort for struggling families. Most nursing homes provide a nourishing and caring environment. However, in rare cases nursing homes may become breeding grounds for abuse.
After careful research, a person may find a nursing facility that seems welcoming and orderly, and may even feel a certain peace of mind when his or her loved one is settled in. However, it is important to keep in mind that nursing home injuries are not uncommon, and being aware of the signs and prevalence of abuse may allow one to intervene before serious harm is done.
When people go to live in a nursing home, it usually means they are older and in need of more assistance than the rest of the population, comprised of people who are still able to live on their own. Bearing this in mind, a substantial amount of trust must be put into the caregivers and medical staff at a nursing home and hopefully, that trust is deserved. And yet, with more than 14 million elderly patients in nursing homes and nearly 3 falls averaged per resident each year, it is more than disconcerting to realize that falls can be extremely dangerous and even fatal.
With age comes a feebleness and vulnerability you may have rarely experienced in the majority of your life. However, when you do begin to live in days where your body doesn't function properly anymore, and you require the assistance of a caregiver, you certainly hope to find someone or some people with whom you can confidently place your trust. However, if your trust must go to people outside of your family, and you must pay for the day-to-day care you are given, you may have well-founded fears.
Elder abuse is an unimaginable offense that has been going on for decades. It first came to be recognized as an issue of growing concern in the 1970s, and nursing homes have, since then, seen greater regulations and supervision. Even now, the problem may be understated. Research conducted by the US General Accountability Office demonstrated that among surveys conducted on a statewide level, there were commonly minimized problems occurring in licensed facilities. The study indicated that surveys commonly miss one or more deficiency as well as immediate jeopardy and harm of a resident of a nursing home.
We all hope that a nursing home will be an enjoyable place where we play cards and chat with friends while someone else reminds us to take our medicine, helps us get around and serves us three square meals a day. That should be the case. Even when our health fails and game playing becomes less likely, we should still count on the assistance we need. However, sometimes this doesn't happen the way we intend it. We all want to make sure that our loved ones are taken care of correctly.
There was a time when you felt totally safe. A time when your heaviest problems were whether or not you were going to get to stay up late enough to watch a favorite show or whether you would be grounded for bombing that math quiz. The feeling of safety stemmed from having a parent, or parents, who took your upbringing seriously and looked out for you, protected you and taught you the ways of the world and to be savvy and avoid potentially bad people and any harm. They sheltered you and allowed you to be a child. Now your parents or grandparents are aging, they are vulnerable, becoming increasingly feeble, and it is your turn to shield them from harm and potentially bad people.
When we age we watch our daily abilities alter bit by bit until what we once did on a mundane and recurring level is now modified to the point of being unrecognizable. So much that we took for granted in performing necessary daily tasks is now what we would give absolutely anything to be able to do for ourselves again. When we reach this point, how we planned in our former years will affect where we go to survive, as well as if we must go anywhere at all.
The prospect of nursing home care can be daunting. Whether you are considering it for yourself or for an elderly mother or father, you worry about finding a good facility where you or your parents will receive quality care. You may be studying nursing homes, which may be skilled nursing or long-term care facilities, but, like many prospective customers, you may not be certain how to evaluate the facility.
When we entrust the care of our elderly loved ones to a nursing home, we expect they will be treated well. It is our right and the right of our loved one to expect a reasonable standard of care. Sadly, there are times when this trust is misplaced. Nursing home negligence occurs, by definition, when nursing home staff fails to exercise proper care. Unfortunately, this type of neglect happens far too frequently across the United States and careful consideration must be given when selecting the right nursing home.