The risk of nursing home abuse often has elderly patients and their families worried. People who trust assisted-living facilities and nursing homes for the care of their aged or ailing loved ones, therefore, think twice before handing over the responsibility to them. The truth is that people admitted in such facilities deserve all the love and care they can get, particularly when they are at the last stages of their lives.
However, ill-treatment and neglect are common, sometimes due to a caregiver’s inaction and in some cases, due to intentional physical, sexual and emotional harm. If you have a loved one residing in a nursing home or plan to admit them at such a facility, you need to know the facts well enough. At the same time, there are some common elder abuse myths that need to be debunked. Let us do it for you.
Myth #1: Elder neglect occurs only in nursing homes
Elder abuse is regarded as synonymous with nursing home abuse but the truth is that it is not confined to these facilities alone. If you have an aged relative living in an assisted living center, they are equally at risk. You will be surprised to know that mistreatment or neglect may happen in the senior’s own home by their own family members or a caregiver hired to look after them. So it becomes important to look for signs of neglect irrespective of where the elderly relative resides.
Myth #2: No physical signs mean that there is nothing to worry
Often, people associate physical injuries with nursing home abuse but this is a myth you shouldn’t believe. Think beyond bruises, broken bones and sexual injuries because neglecting the physical needs of the patient is as bad as abuse. You can hire a nursing home abuse lawyer even when you suspect emotional abuse and financial exploitation. Stop looking for only physical signs because you may end up missing major trouble brewing beneath the surface.
Myth #3: Only caregivers can dictate and decide the care received
Don’t fall for the claims of the nursing home staff that they alone will dictate and decide the care given to your loved one. When it comes to making these decisions, the residents and their family members are entitled to participate in their care plan. You should actually take active interest in your family member’s care if you suspect exploitation or neglect at the hand of the caregivers responsible for looking after them.
Myth #4: If the senior doesn’t complain, then abuse never happened
Often, older patients in nursing homes are too scared to report or complain about physical injuries, emotional cruelty and intentional neglect. To make things worse, patients suffering from mental illnesses such as dementia may not even be aware about being abused. Rather than waiting for a loved one to share their problems, you should trust your instincts and go the extra mile to report the concern.
Proper care for the elderly in nursing homes is what they rightfully deserve. But it is your responsibility to ensure that there is no abuse or neglect and if there is, it is dealt firmly by taking legal recourse.