Reports by the National Council on Elder Abuse (NCEA) estimate that over half of nursing homes have had a case of neglect or abuse on their residents. That’s one in every three nursing home residents being victimized. That’s a worrying trend, and it could be anyone, it could be your loved ones.
Further research, including from the World Health Organization (WHO) suggests two in three staffers have reported cases of abuse in assisted living facilities. Some factors that could make neglect and abuse more likely in assisted living facilities include;
1. Poor staff training and inadequate oversight
All nursing homes or assisted living facilities must have registered nurses (RN) as part of the staff. These nurses are responsible for all other nurses, aides, and certified nursing assistants. Also, they communicate with the physician who handles the nursing home.
If you plan to take your loved one to a nursing home, ask about the oversight processes and whether or not the staff members have the necessary training. These are some of the aspects that will affect your relative’s care.
2. Poor health of nursing home residents
Bedridden patients and others in poor health are easily ignored compared to the more active, healthier residents. The physical and mental state of a resident is also risk factor as to whether abuse and neglect will occur. For instance, a resident with or psychological health-related issues is likely to be a victim of abuse.
Accumulating evidence suggests that older women are more vulnerable to abuse. It can be in the form of persistent threats, financial manipulation, and even neglect. Also, older women in a nursing home are often left there by their family for financial exclusion and manipulation from immediate family members with Interest in their estate.
4. The stressful working environment for the nursing home staff
Stressed employees are more likely to neglect or abuse the residents of a nursing home. Are the nurses and caregivers expected to skip their lunch break or work overtime? Does the assisted living facility have a secluded area where staff members can relax, talk, or eat? Does the facility’s general atmosphere seem tense?
Another cause of abuse in nursing home residents is the sanity of the caregiver. Caregivers who are having substance abuse issues and are suffering from a mental health problem like depression are likely to act on their frustration and intense emotions on nursing home residents.
Failure to conduct a proper background check, including regular drug tests, is a contributory factor to caregivers being aggressive and abusive to residents.
5. Improper maintenance of the nursing home
How is the nursing home structured? Does it have outdated facilities and inadequate building maintenance? If yes, then a resident is likely to face abuse or neglect. Well, an institution without adequate facilities to care for their residence means negligence will be commonplace.
Also, there is a direct likelihood that outdated facilities have inadequate staffing, and caregivers are overworked and likely to burn out. Such staff is unlikely to offer better services to the residents as they are limited.
6. Lack of social support
The contributory factor leading to abuse and neglect starts from the family. If a family shows no interest in visiting or following up on patient status at nursing homes, it creates a loophole for abuse or exploitation.
Residents with frequent visits and interaction with family members report better treatment. Regulars visits give caregivers a reason to provide better care compared to residents with no outside communications from family and friends.
Before enrolling your elderly in need of a caregiver to a nursing home, ensure to do your due diligence, and watch out for the risk factors discussed in this article. If you have additional questions about Nursing Home Abuse contact Zimmet & Zimmet and speak with one of our nursing home abuse attorneys today.