How to Prevent Nursing Home Abuse/Neglect
Deciding to place a loved one in a nursing home facility is one of the hardest decisions family members will ever have to make. Still, millions of people choose to do it every day. Elders often need constant care and family members, unfortunately, are simply unable to provide it for them. It is for this reason that millions of elders live in long-term care facilities and of them, approximately 2.5 million are at higher risk of experiencing abuse/neglect. Preventing nursing home neglect and abuse/neglect is not always possible, but family members can follow some tips to help ensure their loved one is safe.
Conduct Thorough Research
You want your loved one to be in the best nursing home possible and to ensure they are, you must conduct thorough research on all the facilities you are considering. The Agency for Health Care Administration allows you to conduct a search on any nursing home so you can look for complaints and sanctions against them, which is a major red flag that the facility may not be the best for your family member. Having confidence in any facility even before your loved one is admitted is one of the best ways to prevent nursing home abuse/neglect.
Know the Signs
There are many different signs that abuse/neglect is occurring within a nursing home, including bruises, poor hygiene, and marks on the ankles and wrists that indicate the use of restraints. When these signs are spotted, it may mean the elder is already being abused/neglected, but family members that know what to look for can prevent further abuse/neglect from occurring.
Call Your Loved One Regularly
Elders that are in nursing homes often feel lonely, even when they are friendly with other residents. As such, family members should always call their loved one regularly to check up on them and see how they are doing. During these calls, always ask your loved one how they are being treated and if they like the staff members that are entrusted to care for them.
Nursing home residents do not always want to come forward about abuse/neglect, or they are unable to, but regular phone calls will provide more opportunity for them to do it. Speaking to someone that they love and trust on a regular basis may also make your loved one feel more comfortable about coming forward about any abuse/neglect that is happening.
Visit Your Loved One Regularly
Calling your loved one regularly is important, but it is even more critical that you visit them at the facility often. Regular visits will not only provide you and your loved one with the precious time you need, but will also allow you to make certain observations about the nursing home and its staff. Is the facility clean and free of potential hazards? Is the staff friendly towards your loved one, or does your family member seem scared by certain staff members? Additionally, when nursing home staff members know you will come for a visit soon, they are much less likely to engage in nursing home abuse/neglect because they know you will be checking up on them, as well as your loved one.
Is Abuse/Neglect Occurring? Our Florida Nursing Home Abuse/Neglect Lawyer can Help
Tragically, family members sometimes take all the necessary steps to prevent nursing home abuse/neglect, but it still happens. When that is the case, our Tampa nursing home abuse/neglect lawyer at Kohn Law, P.A. is here to help. We know how to prove the abuse/neglect is occurring, and we will hold the nursing home staff members and owners liable for paying the compensation your loved one deserves. If you suspect nursing home abuse/neglect is occurring, call us today at (813) 428-8504 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.