When you must face the difficult decision of placing your elderly loved one in a nursing home or assisted living facility, you assume their every need will be looked after. Unfortunately, for many elderly and their families, this becomes a risky situation that puts the well-being and sometimes the very lives of residents in jeopardy.
While there are many fine facilities in which your elderly relative will be happy to spend their time, there are still risk factors you should look for before committing to sending them to that facility that looks good in the brochure or in a controlled visit.
Facility Risk Factors
The facility itself is often the reason nursing home abuse and neglect occurs. Nursing homes are often understaffed with ill-trained employees who are not paid well. These staffing conditions can breed indifference or even resentment against the elderly who have done nothing wrong. It is important for you to look into facility management style, staff training and screening, abuse prevention policies, the ratio of staff to residents, staff burnout and turnover, as well as the physical environment of the nursing home.
Resident Risk Factors
According to the National Center on Elder Abuse, the largest risk factors for residents are when the resident is already vulnerable. These factors include suffering from dementia, dependence for nearly every aspect of their lives, and other needs due to behavioral conditions beyond their control. When a resident needs special round the clock care, they may suffer at the hands of uncaring staff, while other patients may not get the care they need due to the presence of a high number of residents who need so much care.
Relationship Risk Factors
How a resident interacts with their family, the staff, and other residents often shows how vulnerable they may be. If a resident has infrequent, or even few, visits from family, they may be more exposed to abuse and neglect since there is no one to check on their care. If there are problems or conflicts between the resident and the caregiver, quality care may not occur like it should.
If you are concerned about placing a family member into an extended care facility and would like more information on risk factors, and are in the Madison, Wisconsin area, please contact Boller & Vaughan to speak with an experienced nursing home and neglect attorney today.