When it comes to preventing neglect and abuse of your elderly loved ones, there are many ways that you can make their safety a priority. You should be aware of all the ways to prevent neglect and abuse can be prevented. I will provide this information here.

Education

One way you can make sure that your loved one is not neglected or abused, is to simply be educated about these issues. By researching the homes you are considering, you can get some information regarding previous incidents if there were any. You might even find that that there haven’t been any problems with the home. Then, you might decide that it is a good choice for your loved one. Also, you can read our other pages about what neglect and abuse is all about. You want to know the warning signs and how to report it if it does happen. By knowing all of this information, it can help you prevent the neglect and abuse that your loved one could be subjected to when placed in a nursing home.

Respite Care

Respite care is a great way to prevent nursing home neglect and abuse. This type of care is a program that provides help for a family that is taking care of their disabled loved one on their own. It can be provided in multiple different ways. You can set it up for a few hours a day to have someone come in to care for your loved one while you take a break or you can even schedule it for a long weekend. This kind of care can be provided in the comfort of your own home, or at an outside location. Respite care allows you to care for your loved one but also get away when you need to. You can minimize the risk of neglect or abuse because your loved one still under your care for a majority of the time.

If respite care is not for you and you decide to go with a nursing home, picking the right home can be very helpful in preventing neglect and abuse. You will want to find a home that fits your loved one’s needs. For example, if your loved one is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, and the staff and facilities of a nursing home cannot meet needs related to this disease, you must find another nursing home that does. You can contact a nursing home and ask them what types of special services they offer if you cannot find this information online. Because this is such a basic requirement, it is worth looking into the services that the nursing home offers before you go any further researching the home or trying to visit it.

Getting Help

Getting social contact and support for your loved one while in the nursing home can also help you prevent neglect and abuse. If you’re loved one has friends that are also residents in the home, they might be able to notice if your loved one is acting differently than normal. This can help you recognize if your loved one is being neglected or abused before it gets really bad. Having the support of a friend in the nursing home will not only make your loved one feel more comfortable, but it will make it a better experience for them. Then your loved one can also look out for their friend. Knowing that someone else has your back in a situation that is out of your control will make the experience better for everyone involved.

Getting counseling for your loved ones will help in the prevention of neglect and abuse. With a counselor, your loved one can talk to someone while they are in the care of a nursing home. Your loved one can tell this person anything they want and should feel comfortable doing so. If your loved one is being neglected or abused in the home, they can tell their counselor about what is going on and then the counselor can report it to the appropriate source to get the issue resolved. The counselor can also tell you if anything is going wrong with your loved one so you can stay involved in the process.

Abuse Prevention Policies

Some facilities have an abuse prevention policy that includes staff screening. Sometimes low staff ratios and high turnover drives facilities to fill vacancies in a hurry. This can mean that unsuitable candidates are accepted. Preemployment screening is essential to ensure that applicants who are not suitable are not hired. People who would be inappropriate lack empathy and have no interest in the welfare of residents. These people are also disrespectful or controlling. Those with substance abuse or domestic violence issues are not ideal candidates. An important strategy for preventing abuse is asking questions to learn the job applicant’s feelings about caring for elders. Consider:

  • How they might react to an abusive situation.
  • Their work ethic.
  • How they handle anger and stress.
  • History of alcohol or substance abuse.

These factors help the facilities know that their staff will not be abusive to residents. You might want to ask a potential nursing home if they have a screening policy when hiring new staff members. Knowing if they have this staff screening can help you feel better about the home.

Individual Homes

The culture and the management of a home can also contribute to neglect and abuse of residents. Different cultures treat their elderly in different ways. For example, the Japanese have a lot of resect for their elderly. They make sure that they are well cared for. In the United States, there is more of a negative stigma about elderly people. There are many different cultures here. A person who might be a different culture than you and your loved ones runs each nursing home. You want to be aware of the culture of the nursing home before placing your loved one there. This is especially true if you don’t know much about the staff members backgrounds. Something that is normal for their culture might be considered neglect or abuse to you.

Signs of Abuse

A great way to prevent neglect and abuse of your elderly loved one is to just pay attention to the signs. It can be very easy or extremely complicated to realize that your loved one is being abused. It will depend on the situation. You want to take notice of any changes in your loved one in anything from their attitude to their appearance. Neglect and abuse can affect your loved one in many different ways. So, it is important to keep up with your loved one to make sure they are not getting treated poorly.

  • Feelings about caring for elders.
  • How they might react to an abusive situation.
  • Their work ethic.
  • How they handle anger and stress.
  • History of alcohol or substance abuse.

All of these factors help the facilities in knowing that their staff will not be abusive. You might even want to ask a potential nursing home if they have a screening policy when hiring new staff members. Knowing if they have this staff screening and that they care about preventing neglect and abuse can help you feel better about leaving your loved one in their care.