PSYCHOLOGY

Putting Your Parents In A Nursing Home Is Not A Remedy! Statistics Show Horrific Numbers Of Elder Abuse In Healthcare Facilities

October 30, 2018 16:07

They raised us, gave everything they possibly could. They tried to be the best parents for us. And now it’s our turn to help them during the very difficult period. We all know that it can become significantly harder to look after yourself when you age up to the point of inability. And many older children, unfortunately, don’t have time to help their parents with this. Lack of time is certainly not the only reason why people put their parents in nursing homes.

But is it safe for them to live there? Different studies suggest it can be rather risky, as around 40% of nursing staff admitted that they had been abusing their residents. In this article, we reveal some terrifying numbers and cases, which will make you think twice before putting your loved parent in a nursing home and offer some helpful tips on how to avoid elder abuse in such facilities.

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READ ALSO: It Should Never Happen To Anyone. Elder Abuse Isn't A Myth - It's A Terrifying Reality

Why do people resort to nursing homes?

1. Lack of competence. We cannot predict how fast our parent’s health will deteriorate, as well as what kind of diseases they might face. Often times, we have to call a specialist to provide immediate help. Many believe it is better for older adults to have such specialists nearby – in a nursing home.

2. Financial cost. The cost of in-home care can be too high for many people, as Medicare financial help is rarely enough to provide proper care, especially when the condition worsens. Putting your parent in a quality health care facility like a nursing home or an assisted-living facility might be less expensive in the long perspective.

3. Obligations. We all have obligations, and for many people, the obligations of work and managing their household consume all the available time. Realizing that they are not able to be the caregiver their parents deserve, some opt for nursing homes.

4. Personal health issues. It can be almost impossible for some people to provide proper care to their parents due to personal limitations, such as injuries, disabilities, some specific illnesses, etc.

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Nursing home abuse statistics

Despite many obvious advantages of nursing homes, they can pose a huge threat to your parents, as the cases of elder abuse in such facilities, unfortunately, occur quite frequently. The numbers and facts described below reflect the current situation with elder abuse in nursing homes, and it is indeed very alarming.

  • It is estimated that abused older adults are 300% more likely to die prematurely.
  • Around 10% of homes had violations that could potentially seriously injure or even lead to the residents’ death.
  • As much as 44% of elderly residents have reported abuse in a survey, where 90% of those people have been neglected by the personnel.
  • Approximately 9,000 cases of elderly abuse in nursing home are reported each year in the US: from neglect that led to dehydration or bed sores to physical abuse that led to severe bodily injuries and death. There were around 1,600 of nursing home abuse lawsuit cases.
  • Only 1 in 14 of elder abuse cases is officially reported and brought the authorities’ attention.
  • Around 4% of residents of nursing homes become victims of financial exploitation.

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READ ALSO: Wrong! A 35-Year-Old Nurse Caught On Camera Beating An 82-Year-Old With A Shoe In A Nursing Home

How to prevent abuse in care homes?

Patients with dementia suffer from elder abuse the most. Recent scandal around one Australian nursing home shocked community and seriously damaged the reputation of similar facilities. The outrageous mistreatment of 92-year-old Jean Robin was captured on cam. The nursing staff forcefully put the woman in bed and were laughing when the latter tried to resist.

Such disrespectful treatment, unfortunately, is not rare and can get much worse depending on the particular facility. To avoid and prevent elder abuse in nursing homes we recommend the following:

  1. Advance planning tools can prevent financial exploitation by clarifying and documenting the older adult’s wishes. Such tools include living wills, power of attorney designation, and advance directives.
  2. Thoroughly analyze the staff in any nursing home. Look for good communication skills, teamwork between colleagues, and any signs of ethical reflection (which means that the workers care about ethical dilemmas that they face every day.
  3. Build trustworthy relationships with the staff. You should realize that the conditions under which the nurses work aren’t very pleasant. A little bit of empathy won’t harm. Therefore, try to be involved in the process as much as you can. Putting your loved one in a nursing home doesn’t mean abandoning them.
  4. Check all the documents and read thoroughly every paper that you are asked to sign. Many violations and other important aspects can be hidden inside them.
  5. Also, it is extremely important to check the facility’s history of abuse. You can do it by using the tools like arrest records, complaint and abuse registries, criminal background checks, etc.

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We hope that nobody will face the horror of elder abuse. We believe the tips above can help you prevent any form of mistreatment in nursing homes and provide your loved one older adult with the decent care they deserve! Unfortunately, the statistics are not comforting at all, so we have to address this issue as quickly as possible and raise awareness about elder abuse in nursing homes.

READ ALSO: Why Weren't They Shut Down? Nursing Home Exposed After Caregivers Were Secretly Filmed Abusing A 92-Year-Old Dementia Patient

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