It can be a heavy emotional burden when we are finally forced to put a family member into a nursing home. Oftentimes we make this tough choice because we are no longer able to provide the necessary care. Accepting our own limitations can be exceptionally hard, but it is something we must do in order to ensure the health and safety of our loved ones.
When we trust another person to take care of our beloved family members, we do so understanding that state and federal law require the people providing that care be properly trained and vetted. We also trust that if there is a rogue staff, the other caretakers will quickly discover the situation before too much harm is done. Unfortunately this is not always the case.
A nursing home in Andover, Kansas made national news when it was revealed that instances of abuse and neglect had been ongoing for years, and no one had done anything about it despite most of the staff being aware of what was going on. The people in charge simply didn’t care about the residents. Not only were staff members abusive, but nothing was done to prevent residents from being abused by their fellow residents.
Sadly, only extreme, widespread cases make the national news, but the smaller cases are equally emotionally devastating. If you have a loved one in a nursing home, it is important that you are proactive in ensuring their needs are met and they are not being abused, either by staff or by the other residents. Some things you can do include:
- Ask your loved one if anyone is causing harm or hurt, and take the time to listen fully to the answers.
- Double-checking medications and charting to make sure that the proper protocols are being followed.
- Follow up on any unexpected injuries and make sure proper inquiries take place.
- Check your loved ones for any physical signs of abuse or neglect.
If abuse or neglect is suspected, you should report it immediately to the proper authorities. Once the authorities are alerted, it is important that you follow through to make sure your loved one receives proper treatment, both physical and psychological. This type of treatment can be very expensive, and if the economic burdens become heavy you should contact a lawyer who can make sure that the people who were negligent pay for getting your loved one back in a safe space both physically and mentally.