Putting a parent in a nursing home is never an easy decision. You probably worry often about the care your mom or dad is receiving, and for good reason. Nursing home abuse is a real problem in the U.S., and it is not only staff you have to worry about harming your loved one. According to the Office for Victims of Crime, almost a quarter of abuse complaints at nursing homes involve residents hurting other residents.
What can you do to ensure the health and safety of your parent? The answer is to stay involved in your parent’s care in the following ways.
Your life may be busy, but is imperative that you make time to visit at least weekly. The more often you go, the less likely your mom or dad will experience abuse because you will likely notice the mental and physical damage sooner. Your mom or dad will not be an easy target with a strong family support system.
It may be helpful to stop by unexpectedly or to come at different days or times to ensure your parent is receiving proper treatment around the clock and not just when you are around.
Get to know the staff
You should become familiar with the people responsible for the direct care of your loved one. Know who is working and when, as well as what duties staff members should complete. This can make it easier to determine who is behind any abuse or neglect that may occur. Also, ask about your parent’s care and health to stay updated on changes and help your loved one make informed medical decisions.
Organize or join a family council
You and the families of other residents have the right to organize a family council and hold regular meetings. You can find out if other residents are having issues and raise these concerns to the facility. Remember, there is strength in numbers.