The line between negligence and abuse remains a fine one. The major distinctions fall along the lines of intention and severity of harm. It’s important to avoid both when finding care for your loved ones.
If you suspect a family member is the victim of nursing home abuse, it’s easy to overreact, making the problem more difficult in multiple ways. First, any investigation into the abuse could be hindered. Second, accusations and suspicion could lead to problems for your elders.
If you suspect abuse or negligence are at play, proceed with caution to ensure a quality of safety and care.
Precautions Against Nursing Home Abuse
Given the difficult nature of the topic, multiple agencies exist to record and follow cases of neglect and abuse. In many cases, the ideal solution is to find a root cause and correct it through training and policy recommendations. In rare cases, an individual or organization can be tasked with criminal liability for wrongdoing.
Investigations into abuse take time and a delicate touch to avoid disruption of services which would cause the very harm that you hope to prevent.
Follow these precautions to shore up the well-being of your loved ones and mitigate the effects of problems.
Nursing homes are small communities. Rumors travel quickly and systems of snubbing and ostracization are common. Residents don’t like to associate with troublemakers, assuming they will catch repercussions as well.
Staff, worried they will get caught up in an investigation, keep their distance. Everyone goes into defensive mode, leaving your elder vulnerable to isolation.
The resident themselves may avoid reporting problems because of this fear of backlash. It’s been shown that isolation leads to issues with depression and motivation which negatively affects health.
It’s best to encourage a status quo with your resident. They need to keep their routine and stay active to avoid both health issues and vulnerability.
Keeping up the normal routine, with an increased awareness for abuse potential, provides safety for your loved one and helps investigative efforts.
Finances are a frequent target for abuse. Go over financial obligations and assets with your loved one. This gives them a sense of confidence and makes you aware of any irregularities. Make certain that anyone with access to finances has warrant for such.
When issues and wrongdoing are even suspected, it’s easy to get paranoid. Elders frequently want to make changes to living wills and estates because they think it will add security.
Impulsive changes don’t’ fall in line with best wishes and intentions. They also create legal loopholes that unscrupulous types scan exploit to size elements of an estate while they are in contention.
Educate on Solicitation
The elderly are massive targets for scams through telephone and email. Much like the above tip, talk to your loved one about risk factors and warn against talking to anyone that tells them there is a problem or that they need to pay to have an issue addressed.
Scammers prey on fear and uncertainty, things that grow in abundance during an abuse investigation. Keep your elder safe by communicating frequently and keeping yourself aware of their situation.
Get Wheels Turning
If you suspect that nursing home abuse or negligence is occurring, reach out to a qualified legal team to diagnose and discuss the issue. At Ingerman & Horwitz, we work with knowledgeable investigators to ferret out abuse and bring fitting resolution to these issues. Don’t hesitate, contact us with your concerns today and get the process started. We’re here to help.