If you know or suspect that your elderly family member or friend has a problem with the nursing home she is living in, you must spend some extra time encouraging and listening to her about the problem. To be able to identify the root cause of her problem, it will help if you are aware on what to keep an eye for. Always remember that sometimes a nursing home issue is more than just a simple problem of adjusting to the environment, so intervention can be very crucial.
Aggression From Other Residents
According to researchers, aggression and violence from nursing home residents is common, though not evident. Different types of physical and verbal abuse can take place in any nursing home and with any resident.
Taking Action – In cases of aggression and violence, the nursing home management must be involved to investigate and determine the cause of problem. Experienced management can deal with the different personalities of their residents and have the ability to sort out misunderstandings. However, if the aggression and violence is direct and life threatening, the nursing home administrator must be informed so that intervention is made immediately. It is also best that you have a change of rooms requested if the aggressor is a room mate.
Issues With Staff
Having to rely on strangers to provide basic care can be hard and older adults will sometimes complain about it. These complaints will vary as some will sound petty, but it is crucial that you listen keenly and take steps to help resolve them.
Taking Action – After listening to the story of your elderly relative or friend, gently discuss the problem with the staff without pointing a finger. Explain that it is important to you to figure out the problem and hopefully come up with a solution with the help of the staff member. Sometimes, all you have to do is explain the special need or personality quirk of your relative or friend can resolve the problem. However, since nursing home staff works on a shifting schedule, make sure that you talk with the assigned staff.
In the event that the problem is not resolved with the nursing home staff, the next step is to talk to the head nurse, nursing director or home administrator. According to http://tadnelsonlaw.com/ , “Nursing homes and assisted living centers have a legal and moral duty to provide a certain standard of personal and medical care, but many care facilities, especially for-profit nursing homes, are understaffed and hire people with questionable backgrounds.” Always go up the chain of command when resolution is not established and the problem has become very serious.
Poor Care, Neglect And Abuse
There are those who were raised to not make a fuss and they have a habit of not speaking up for themselves. This is why it is imperative to ask questions that will encourage them to speak up. Use directive questions that end with offered help as these often reveal serious problems you would never imagine to happen. It is also essential that you look for visible signs indicating problems such as weight loss, bruises and frequent bed sores. Residents seen unattended for long periods in their beds or in wheelchairs along the hallways are also signs of poor nursing home care.
Taking Action – When you have established that neglect or abuse is the concern, have your relative or friend transferred under the care of another staff member while the matter is being investigated. If the administrator can not consulted, be insistent, because the health and well being of your loved one is more important than the busy schedule of the administrator. During the investigation, make frequent sudden visits to check on her. If the nursing home administrator takes no action, you can contact local authorities and file a complaint, while looking for another nursing home for her to transfer to.
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Valerie Terger is a freelance writer specializing in various criminal cases, relationship and family legal affairs, nursing home abuse and the latest apps and devices used in legal matters.