If the pandemic had any upside at all, it would be for family members to carefully scrutinize the nursing homes their elderly loved ones depend upon for their very existence. Unfortunately, the problem of nursing home abuse and neglect is not a new one. And preventing it begins with the selection of the facility, in the first place.
If you are compelled to find a suitable nursing home for someone you love, take your time and shop around. Get trusted recommendations, and make sure to conduct thorough visits of the facilities you have in mind. If you see the paint chipping off the walls, unsanitary conditions, or you do not see enough staff on the floors to care for the residents, move on.
Of course, a nursing home still can be deficient, regardless of how nicely it’s packaged. Therefore, visit your loved one frequently. Make sure to show up on unexpected days or times. And reassess the facility on a regular basis. If you’ve chosen a nursing home you thought was well run and you notice changes in your loved one’s behavior, pay attention.
Most important, talk to your loved one. Get a good sense of how he or she is feeling. Make sure to check for bed sores, a sure sign of neglect, and any injuries to the body. Elderly folks can have accidents if they are left unattended.
If you ever were to get a call from the nursing home that your mother or father has wandered away, he or she is in the wrong place. And as soon as your parent is found, remove him or her from that facility. They clearly are not paying much attention to their residents.
If you see that the nursing home seems more like a warehouse than a place to call home, look for a different facility. Elderly folks need to remain as active as they can for as long as they can. Sitting around is simply bad for their health.
Finally, if you suspect nursing home abuse, contact the New York State Division of Quality and Surveillance for Nursing Homes and Intermediate Care Facilities. Or, call the Nursing Home
Complaint hotline at: (888)201-4563.