Nursing homes are big business. Recent estimates suggest that nursing home revenues have exceeded 55 billion dollars. With that much money to be made, you can be sure not all homes have the best interest of their patients at heart.   Sadly, nursing home neglect and abuse happens, and families are rarely prepared for the kind of emotional and financial stress that results. That being the case, let’s look at what nursing home abuse and neglect is, and what you can do about it.

 

What Nursing Home Neglect and Abuse Is

Many elderly residents have limited ability to communicate abuse or neglect. It is up to loved ones to figure out the situation themselves. First and foremost, check for unusual signs of physical harm – cuts, scrapes, bruises, and even broken bones. Accidents happen, but never feel as if you are in the wrong to ask questions or probe incidents. Second, check for neglect. This can include a lack of food, water, toilet services, emotional support, and medical care. Finally, engage the patient in dialogue to make sure there is no emotional or verbal abuse happening. Signs can include emotional agitation, unusual withdrawal, and a desire for isolation.

 

What Can Be Done

The best option to curb abuse and neglect is to visit frequently. Without the possibility of immediate repercussion, perpetrators are more likely to take advantage of their position. Also, never be afraid to ask questions and seek conversation with nurses, doctors, and administrators of your facility. With the amount of money you are paying for their services, you should not feel stymied for communication. Another option is installing a “granny cam”. A webcam designed to keep an eye on your loved one and the treatment they are receiving (note: this is not the same as a hidden cam). To learn more, especially if you believe a loved one is at risk, watch this short video: Contact Bill Hayes right away and let him help you.

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