One of the toughest parts of putting an elderly family member in a nursing care facility is trusting that he or she is in good hands. Essentially, their care, comfort, and the quality of the rest of their days is going to depend on the people in the facility and what their resources are. One of the most uncomfortable things to consider is the possibility of abuse in a care facility. Elderly people are abused in one in three nursing homes in the United States and it’s important to keep this in mind. Here are three things everyone should know about nursing home abuse.
1. There are multiple kinds of nursing home abuse.
The first thing to know about nursing home abuse is that there isn’t just one form of it. The first type that comes to mind is physical, and this does happen through maliciousness or negligence of care. Since the residents are often at the mercy of the staff for a number of things, emotional and financial abuse is not uncommon.
2. It happens much more often than you think.
It’s unpleasant, but it’s also very important to recognize the frequency with which nursing home abuse happens. Between the years of 1999 and 2001, over 5,200 facilities were cited for nearly 9,000 instances of abuse. This is 30% of nursing homes. For a family member’s health and happiness, everyone should remember that it is a possibility and should look out for red flags of abuse.
3. What families and loved ones can do.
The role that family members and loved ones play is crucial for being able to identify and stop abuse if it’s happening. Warning signs include mysterious or unexplained injuries, missing money or valuables, and staff not allowing family to be alone with the resident. If abuse is suspected, it should be investigated immediately.
There are more than 1.6 million people living in nursing homes in the United States. If a family member has been abused, he or she may have legal recourse in the form of personal injury lawsuits. Hiring a personal injury lawyer to learn more should be the first step in getting justice and compensation.