If your loved one is in a nursing home, it’s good to know the causes of nursing home abuse. While your loved one might not be experiencing abuse right now, knowledge is power, and that power can help should you suspect nursing home abuse in the future.
Knowing these signs can help you pick the right nursing home to reduce the risk your loved one faces greatly. Keeping them safe and sound during their elderly years is essential, primarily since they rely on the nursing home staff to help them. There’s nothing worse than being abused by the people who are supposed to care for you.
Keep reading to learn about the most common causes of nursing home abuse, what you can do if you suspect abuse, and how you can help your loved ones heal if they’ve become abuse victims. You’re not alone. Let’s work together to keep your loved one safe and well cared for!
Causes of Nursing Home Abuse
To protect your loved one, it’s essential to understand the causes of nursing home abuse. Understanding what’s going on can help you quickly get to the root of the problem and resolve it. Here are the four most common causes of nursing home abuse.
- Lack of staff training – Problems can result from a lack of staff training. If a staff member doesn’t know how to do their job, a resident can unfairly suffer from abuse.
Nursing homes with inadequate staff training often see problems like not properly administering medications to residents, not changing their sheets or clothes often enough, not checking for bedsores, not knowing CPR, or not treating diseases or infections properly.
These issues can result in the spread of disease, severe injury, or death, making lack of training a severe problem.
- Poor staff pay – Believe it or not, low income will cause some nursing home staff to abuse the residents. Staff members resent their job for not paying them well enough, taking out that resentment on residents.
Hostility is another issue resulting from poor staff pay. The staff might take care of residents but make them feel like a burden while fulfilling their needs.
- Nursing home mismanagement – Unfortunately, the root cause of nursing home abuse can often be traced back to nursing home administrators or owners.
Usually, these administrators or owners only care about making money, so they don’t properly train staff or fairly compensate them. The less money they spend, the more they make, regardless of who gets hurt because of it.
- Understaffing – Understaffing often results in abuse due to the lack of staff members available to care for everyone’s needs. Residents who need care but don’t receive it are being abused. It doesn’t matter whether the staff member can help it. It’s still abuse.
But understaffing creates more problems than just neglect. When a nursing home is understaffed, the staff are stretched too thin and overworked, inevitably resulting in burnout and tension, which they could take out on residents.
Residents don’t deserve to have someone else’s anger put on them. They don’t staff the nursing home. They’re just elderly people whose families rely on the nursing home staff to take good care of them.
How do I know if there’s nursing home abuse?
While we hope you never have to deal with nursing home abuse, it is sadly a part of the reality of living in a nursing home. Always keep it on your radar, even if it doesn’t seem to be an issue at the nursing home where your loved one resides. They deserve the best care, and you can help ensure that always happens.
The best way to stay on top of an issue like nursing home abuse is by looking for the warning signs. It’s unlikely that a staff member will yell at your loved one while you’re in the room. But take note if your loved one looks nervous when staff is nearby.
It’s also important to pay attention to details. Do their bed sheets or clothing look dirty? Have they been taking their daily medications? Are they comfortable, or do they have signs of bedsores? These are all indicators of nursing home abuse.
What should I do if I suspect nursing home abuse?
Thankfully, you can take action to protect your loved ones and, as a result, the other nursing home residents.
Local, state, and national service agencies can help your loved one recover from nursing home abuse, whether physical, emotional, legal, or financial.
But getting your loved one the help they need isn’t enough. It’s also important to report the abuse so that other nursing home residents don’t continue to suffer. You can contact the Administration for Community Living’s National Center on Elder Abuse to report and help stop the abuse.
It’s impossible to ensure that no abuse ever happens in a nursing home. But it’s in your power to protect your loved ones if it ever happens.
Flickinger, Sutterfield & Boulton Can Help
Did you know that an attorney can help if your loved one is a victim of nursing home abuse? That’s right; you can get legal help to ensure that your loved one receives the compensation they deserve for their pain and suffering and that their abuser is brought to justice.
The causes of nursing home abuse should never happen in the first place, but they unfortunately do. Flickinger, Sutterfield & Boulton understands the sensitive nature of nursing home abuse and the devastating effects it can have.
We’re proud to bring over 50 combined years of experience representing personal injury cases to the table. We offer free case evaluations and have locations in Orem, Provo, South Jordan, and West Jordan.
Not sure how to get started? Contact us today! We’ll be with you through every step of the process. Let us help you today.