Many people in the Cleveland area believe that they do not need to research highly ranking nursing homes as thoroughly as lower ranking facilities. However, you should not rely on ratings alone to determine if your loved one should become a resident. Nursing home abuse and neglect happen in assisted living and nursing homes all over the country. Some of the most heartbreaking cases come from the best facilities. You should not shy away from assisted living if you are no longer able to provide your elderly relative with the care they need. Due diligence is necessary to ensure you and your relative do not make a decision you might come to regret.
Neglect and abuse can occur in many ways; physical abuse and trauma are not the only concerns. Take some time to learn about other forms of nursing abuse and neglect your loved one could experience.
1. Theft and financial exploitation
Many seniors have financial resources and personal property that are attractive to some nursing home workers. Keep track of your loved one’s physical and financial assets. Take an inventory of them every time you visit. Encourage your older relative to inform you anytime he or she notices things missing, even if the items may just be misplaced.
Seniors are exceptionally vulnerable to financial manipulation and coercion. They may not recognize when their caregivers are trying to exploit them financially for profit. Discourage your relative from giving gifts of any nature without your approval. Discuss the importance of having a financial power of attorney in place to reduce the likelihood of losing wealth to an opportunistic individual.
2. Emotional abuse
Emotional abuse can occur in many ways. Stress to your loved one that it is not acceptable for any caregiver to yell, harass, verbally abuse, demean, blame and threaten. Have him or her notify you every time it happens. Because your relative may suffer from cognitive or memory issues, you should ask about how caregivers are treating him or her as well.
Keep in mind that some seniors feel intimidated and uncomfortable speaking up about the abuse and neglect they may experience. Learn to assess your loved one’s physical and mental conditions, the atmosphere of the nursing home, the residents’ attitudes towards each other and your loved one’s response and expressions when caregivers are around. If you suspect there are issues that leave your relative at risk of abuse and neglect, speak with an attorney to learn the next steps.