Neglect and Abuse Cause the Elderly to Fear Nursing Homes

Denver, CO- The elderly resist nursing homes for a number of reasons but recent research from the U.K. shows that chief among their concerns is abuse and neglect.

The study conducted last fall on behalf of DEMOS, an elder advocacy group in the U.K., discovered that less than a quarter of respondents would consider going into a nursing home if they became unable to care for themselves. Forty-three percent of respondents said they would not go into the nursing home and 54 percent of those respondents said they were afraid of being abused or neglected in a long-term care facility.

Respondents to the survey, 2,000 in total, said they commonly associated nursing homes with “isolation,” “boredom,” “illness” and “abuse.”

This research was conducted in the UK, while the country was dealing with horrific cases of abuse and neglect in nursing homes, but it is would be safe to assume that this is also a concern for the elderly people in the in the U.S.

Families for Better Care, a non-profit elder advocacy group, has a comprehensive list of how the nursing homes in each state measures up in their website. Colorado nursing homes earned an overall grade of “B” from Families for Better Care, but at least one-third of facilities across the state have been cited for minor or severe deficiencies.

The National Center on Elder Abuse published a study showing that 50 percent of nursing home staff admitted to neglecting a patient at least once in the past thirty days. One in ten seniors said they had been neglected.

There are many cases of willful neglect in nursing homes. For instance, staff may withhold food or water from a resident because they don’t want to help a resident to the bathroom or change their undergarments. But most neglect in nursing homes is unintentional.

Some unintentional neglect such as failing to move a patient frequently may seem minor, but incidents of “minor” neglect can cause illness and lead to death. Residents can fall or leave the premises because there is not enough staff on hand to make certain all they are safe and accounted for.

In addition to neglect, inadequate staffing makes it easier for a resident to be abuses. Those who abuse others are opportunists; the will take advantage of bustling staff and minimal oversight to harm an elderly or vulnerable patient. Abusers can easily harm a patient without having to worry about having a staff member walk in on the abuse.

Nursing homes should be a place where the elderly feel comfortable and cared for. The transition from independent living to a nursing home can be very troublesome for an elderly person, and the last thing they should be worrying about is being abused or neglected. When a nursing home fails to protect and care for a senior, a Denver nursing home abuse attorney can help them hold a facility responsible for the harm they have suffered.