Elderly and ill nursing home residents are some of our most vulnerable members of society, yet they often fall prey to neglect and outright abuse. Anyone who depends on others for health and survival can become a victim of nursing home abuse, but some may be more at risk than others.
The reasons for abuse are complex, but several factors and conditions may increase risk. The following information can help raise your awareness about nursing home abuse so that you can better spot when an at-risk loved one is in jeopardy.
Unfortunately, stereotypes about frailty and dependence associated with aging can make elderly individuals seem less likely to complain about neglect or mistreatment. It could result in abuse through neglect if a staff member believes they can get away with substandard care.
Overall, women tend to experience higher rates of nursing home mistreatment than men due to several possible factors. For example, women have longer average lifespans and are more likely to need long-term care than men.
Cognitive decline or dementia
Nursing residents with dementia or memory loss rely heavily on caregivers for support and may not remember or report instances of abuse. Sadly, this vulnerability may leave them particularly susceptible to mistreatment. The enormous responsibility of caring for these patients can cause employee burnout and increase the risk.
Certain health problems
Long-term care patients suffering from conditions like chronic pain, mental illness and bouts of delirium can display challenging behaviors. Poorly trained staff or those not suited to care for such residents may harm them or ignore their needs out of frustration.
If a loved one has suffered harm through nursing home abuse or neglect, consider getting legal guidance as soon as possible. This can help you take steps to safeguard your loved one and hold those responsible to account.