Abuse and neglect are two of the top concerns of many individuals who have elderly loved ones living in a nursing home or other type of long-term care facility. Stories are constantly broadcasted that involve nurses and other staff who mistreat their patients, neglect to feed them, or refuse to answer their call light when they may need assistance with going to the restroom. The fact is, nursing home abuse does occur and it is important for you to be on the lookout for signs that might help determine whether the staff that is caring for your relative is treating them properly or if they are crossing the line and failing to provide adequate care.
Who is at a greater risk of being abused while living in a nursing home?
According to research, “people with dementia are at a greater risk of elder abuse than those without.” In a study conducted in 2010 involving participants with dementia, it was revealed that 47% of the individuals who were studied had been mistreated by their caregivers. Of those individuals, 88.5% experienced psychological abuse, 19.7% experienced physical abuse, and 29.5% experienced neglect [Source: National Center on Elder Abuse].
Based on data collected from the National Ombudsman Reporting System (NORS), 14,258 of approximately 188,599 complaints filed with NORS in 2014 involved abuse, gross neglect, or exploitation.
How do I know if the nurse that is responsible for caring for my loved one is abusing or mistreating them?
It isn’t always easy to identify when staff is abusing your loved one but there are some red flags to look out for. Consider these questions the next time you visit the facility where your loved one is staying and see if any of the answers you get concern you.
- Is the staff pleasant to be around?
- Do they make your loved one feel uncomfortable?
- Have you heard complaints from your relative that they don’t want the nurse to care for them any longer?
- How does the staff respond to other patients?
- Do patients show signs of fear when certain nurses come around?
If you are left with the impression that your relative isn’t being treated properly, you may want to file a complaint with someone who holds a higher position within the facility or even speak with a Guildford, NC nursing home abuse attorney who can discuss the best course of action to take. As much as we don’t want to believe that nursing home abuse and neglect exists, it does. In fact, authorities in North Carolina recently arrested 21-year-old Tiara Shackleford who has been accused of abusing and neglecting an 87-year-old patient.
U.S. News reported that Shackleford was charged with felony patient abuse and neglect and misdemeanor assault of a handicapped person. She was released on a $25,000 bond but is due back in court where she will formally be charged.
If you believe your relative is the victim of elder abuse and would like to discuss your matter with a legal representative, USAttorneys.com is available to help you find a nearby Guildford, NC nursing home abuse lawyer.