While many older individuals prefer to age at home, many need or prefer the aid offered by nursing homes. However, entering such facilities may expose elderly loved ones to potential neglect and/or abuse.
In recent years, there have been many reports of horrifying abuse and neglect in nursing homes. Because residents are among the most vulnerable members of the population and family members cannot monitor the facilities constantly, there is a heightened risk of emotional, mental and physical neglect and/or abuse. Before choosing a facility to send loved ones to, it is important to thoroughly vet it and look for certain positive indicators.
1. The encouragement of socialization
Social isolation is a major factor in many abuse and neglect cases. Without the ability to easily contact others, individuals have no way to protect themselves. If a nursing home encourages socialization between residents and with visitors as a policy, it can be a good sign. Long visiting hours and easy access to phones or video call capabilities for residents are also signs that the facility cares about keeping communication lines open.
2. Kind caregivers
Conversations with the nurses and other employees can also give a picture of the facility. Workers who seem to genuinely care about their patients and display patience, attention and kindness are less likely to abuse or neglect elderly loved ones, though faking a positive attitude is possible.
3. Happy residents
Another way to gauge a nursing home is to interact with the residents, if allowed, and take in the overall atmosphere. Happy residents and a light atmosphere hint at a facility that cares. Asking the residents about their diet and the activities they do on an average day can also help.
Older loved ones are vulnerable to abuse and neglect in nursing homes. Thoroughly investigating nursing homes can help shield them from mistreatment.