Once you’ve done the research on a nursing home facility, made a commitment, and settled your loved one into the environment…your job isn’t over. You checked out the staff, you made sure your loved one’s medications were in order, and you feel comfortable about the situation, but there should always be follow-up.
For starters, educate yourself. Research shows that female elders are abused more than male elders. Age is also a considerable factor – the older your loved one is, the more likely he or she is to be abused. The mental health of your loved one should also be considered. If he or she suffers from dementia, there is a greater chance that he or she will suffer from elder abuse.
How do you help prevent elder abuse? Start by talking to your beloved elder – from one simple conversation, you can generally pinpoint some red flags. For example, ask: When you push your call button, how long does it take for a nurse to arrive? Do you feel comfortable and respected here? Is anything bothering you since you’ve lived here?
If any of the answers to these simple, but critical questions feel “off” to you, it could be time to take action.
After you’ve spoken to your loved one, you should also speak to the staff members. Here, your questions can be more direct and you can and should expect more detailed answers:
- Are his/her medications being taken regularly?
- Is he/she receiving daily exercise and social activities?
- What time does he/she wake up in the morning?
- What is the eating schedule for him/her?
- Approximately how much time does he/she spend in his/her room?
Do not ever feel as if you deserve only short, vague answers. Establish a point-of-contact at the facility so that you can go to him/her with questions and expect detailed answers. If you don’t get the answer you’re looking for, speak with the supervisor or director.
If you think you need to hire a personal injury lawyer for a nursing home abuse case, contact Walner Law & Associates for your free consultation.