The time has come for you to transfer your loved one to a nursing home, but you feel afraid of the possibility of neglect and abuse. You spend considerable time searching for a facility that meets your expectations for the quality of care you want your family member to have.
Knowing some strategies for preventing nursing home abuse may help you actively advocate for your loved one’s well-being. Your diligence could increase protection and comfort for the person you love.
Visit the facility unannounced
Communicate regularly with your family member. Create a visitation schedule so you can check in and observe the conditions. Watch for warning signs including unexplained injuries, persistent illnesses, unkempt appearances and negligent staff. Additionally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggest that you visit the nursing home unannounced. Catch the staff off-guard and see if their behavior meets your expectations despite your sudden arrival.
Educate about abuse
Teaching your aging family member about what abuse looks like can also help prevent a pattern of mistreatment. Abusive behavior can take on many forms including physical, psychological and sexual. Come up with strategies for your family member to use for self-defense. Reiterate the importance of talking openly about concerns to generate visibility and prevent ongoing abuse. Make sure your loved one understands the difference between acceptable and unacceptable behavior.
If you do encounter concerns, you have the right to discuss your feelings with staff members. Your ability to prevent nursing home abuse could improve the experience and protection of someone you love.