Issues That Contribute To Nursing Home Abuse
Abuse in nursing homes is a complex sociological and cultural issue. Individual cases of elder abuse often involve a variety of factors as opposed to one explicit source. A main cause of nursing home abuse can be attributed to nursing home understaffing and the quality of the nursing home. Residents in an understaffed nursing home do not receive adequate care and attention from caregivers. Personal issues among caregivers and residents can also be present. Larger societal issues and cultural forces can also affect how elderly people are cared for and treated by others. No matter the issues that contribute to nursing home abuse, it is important for family members and nursing facility staff to be able to recognize warning signs in order to prevent abuse.
Nursing Home Understaffing
In recent years, nursing home understaffing has become a controversial topic. Understaffing has received more consumer and media attention due to the negative impact it may have on both residents and staff members. A lot of people in society view nursing home understaffing as a crime, particularly when facility owners and managers intentionally understaff homes as means of spending less money to increase profits. Understaffing results in neglect, which is a form of nursing home abuse. In cases of neglect, the residents will not receive the proper attention that is required to maintain optimal health and well-being. This can result in issues such as bedsores, fall injuries, or muscle atrophy.
Unfortunately, caregiver’s personal issues may affect the qualify of care in both residential and institutional nursing settings. When a caregiver faces significant physical, financial or psychological issues, the issues may be reflected in the quality of care that nursing home residents receive. Caregiver issues may include circumstances such as the following:
- Excessive stress due to overwhelming responsibilities
- Substance abuse, including drug and alcohol addictions
- Stress and anxiety from limited finances
- Psychological disorders, such as depression and bipolar disorder
When caregivers experience certain issues that may create extra stress or frustration, it is very important to deal with them in a healthy manner. When the needs of the caregiver are tended to, elder abuse can be prevented. If you notice signs of caregiver issues at a nursing home, discuss them with the appropriate parties.
Family and Cultural Issues
There are certain situations where elder abuse causes may stem from the resident’s family as well as societal and cultural considerations. Power structure in individual families as well as regions may play a role in elder abuse. For example, families and cultures that place more esteem toward the elderly may see less elderly abuse in general. Elder abuse will become more frequent in cases where the elderly are viewed as a burden or unfruitful to society as a whole.
Nursing Home Quality
Before moving a family member to a nursing home it is very important that a lot of research is done. While many nursing homes provide exceptional care, there are others that are consistently cited for violations and neglect. Neglect is very dangerous for nursing home residents. If those who are immobile or extremely sick are not care for properly, they may develop a serious illness.
Take Action Against Nursing Home Abuse
If you suspect nursing home is occurring, the first thing you should do is have a presence at the nursing home. Try and visit at least once a week, if not more. Additionally, contact a trusted nursing home abuse attorney like the Law Office of Scott D. DeSalvo for a free consultation as soon as possible.
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