Making Sure Your Family Member is Comfortable in a Nursing Home

by Marie Rodriguez

Entrusting your family member’s safety to an assisted living facility is a hard decision to make. Your hope is for them to be happy and satisfied from getting the best possible care. But that might not always be the case. That’s because your family member can still face a few problems while living in these places, including neglect, malnourishment, financial abuse, mental abuse, and physical abuse.

Nursing Home

Many of these problems can put your family member in danger. Learning about these problems can help you choose a suitable facility, protecting your family member from situations that put them in more trouble. You must equip yourself with more knowledge about these problems to keep them safe as much as possible.

Physical Abuse

It can include pushing, hitting, or other behaviors that put your family member in danger, forcing them to suffer physical harm. Nursing home staff may often hide the signs of physical abuse, so you’ll have to be vigilant.

Learn about what caused the abuse, the steps you can take to report the incident, how it affects your elderly family member, and the indicators you should look out for.

  • How can it happen:

    Elderly physical abuse can include grabbing, pushing, hitting, and slapping, which usually leaves bruises or other marks on their body.

  • How it affects them:

Your older family member will constantly feel pain and fear the individual responsible for the abusive action. That leads to changes in their behaviors.

  • How to look for it:

If you think one of the staff members is abusing your family member, don’t hesitate to look for bruises or other marks that can indicate abuse. Nursing home staff members might claim that your family member got injured or encountered an accident, but you can always observe the changes in your family member’s behavior. That might indicate that the staff is abusing them.

  • How to report it:

Don’t hesitate to file a complaint against the management and staff you think has abused your family member. You should also reach out to the law enforcement officials responsible for handling these matters because these kinds of cases can fall under assault and battery.

Financial Abuse

Your family member will still have control over their finances even if they live in a nursing home facility. But the people around them tend to abuse them financially. Those people might include staff members, other residents, and other family members. It can start from gaining the trust of your family member.

Then, stealing follows, which can lead to significant financial loss. Financial abuse can include directly accessing money from the resident’s savings accounts or stealing cash from their property. It can be traumatic for your elderly family member, especially if they need the money for their care and medication.

Be vigilant when it comes to their savings accounts to check if there are any problems.

Neglect

Nursing homes might have a limited staff despite the massive population of residents they have to cater to. That can put your family member in danger of negligence. If the staff members don’t have resources for personalized care, they can easily ignore and neglect an elderly who has specific needs.

If they neglect that person, your family member might suffer the consequences. That can lead to personal injury cases. For example, if your family member is susceptible to falling and the staff member needed their need for assistance, your family member might want to move around by themselves.

That can lead to severe injuries, allowing you to hold the facility responsible.

Malnourishment

You want to have the peace of mind that your family member is getting the nutrition they need by eating a well-balanced meal while living in the facility. If you notice that your family member is significantly losing weight and getting tired, they might not be getting the proper nutrition needed for their age.

Your family member might get more susceptible to severe problems if they lose more weight. That can include health issues, bedsores, and more. Malnourishment is one of the problems you can’t ignore. If not appropriately addressed, it can even escalate.

Verbal, Emotional, and Mental Abuse

Verbal, emotional, and mental abuse might not cause physical harm, but it can still affect your family member by influencing their quality of life. It usually happens when the staff insults your family member, threatening them and saying demeaning things.

Mental abuse is often the worst type of problem an elderly family member can face due to the anxiety or fear that might stem from it. It can lead to long-term issues, changing your family member’s behavior in a place where they should be safe.

Modern facilities know that they shouldn’t only provide trained healthcare providers but also adopt customer-based practices. Doing that will help them improve assistance and address complaints. Most facilities will have a survey questionnaire to get the resident’s and family members’ feedback about their service.

By doing these, they can continue caring for their patients who rely on their services for a comfortable life. Being responsive to complaints is a powerful tool that facilities can use to improve the quality of care for their residents.

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