People move their loved ones into nursing homes to ensure they have proper care. As people age, reductions in their physical abilities and changes to their cognitive functions might make independent living dangerous. They may have needs that exceed what their family members can provide for them.
Moving to a nursing home is a way to obtain regular care from professionals, but not everyone gets the support they require. A concerning portion of those living in nursing homes experience either abuse or neglect while living in these facilities. Families may do their best to find facilities with good reputations, but there is never any guarantee that a loved one has protection against neglect or abuse.
Those who know that their loved ones are most at risk may do a better job of protecting them. Who is most at risk of abuse or neglect in a nursing home?
Those with severe limitations
Older adults with more pressing medical challenges are often those most at risk of mistreatment in a nursing home. Their inability to advocate for themselves and communicate effectively with others makes it easier for staff members to get away with mistreating them or ignoring their needs. The demands they place on their caregivers may contribute toward burnout or negative attitudes that compromise the quality of care they receive. The more limitations someone has, the greater their chances of enduring mistreatment while living in a nursing home.
Those with no nearby relatives
Nursing home workers who abuse or overtly neglect certain residents often choose who to mistreat while conforming to industry standards for the care of other patients. They may target individuals who do not seem to have involved family members. After all, it is often the children or other loved ones of nursing home residents who intervene to protect individuals against abuse or neglect. Therefore, those who do not regularly get visitors or whose only family members are in another state may be at elevated risk.
Those dependent on Medicaid
Most older adults do not have enough in personal savings to cover nursing home costs. If they rely on Medicaid for benefits, the low rate of reimbursement provided by the state for services can sometimes affect the conduct of workers at the facility.
Unfortunately, the sad truth is that any older adult could be vulnerable to abuse or neglect. Remaining actively involved in someone’s life after their move to a nursing home may help family members more quickly identify signs of abuse and intervene for the protection of a vulnerable loved one.