As technology and medicine advance, people are able to live much longer. While this allows us to spend more time with our loved ones, it may also mean we’ll need to seek the assistance of a elderly care facility. There are currently over 1.3 million people in nursing facilities and that number is only growing.
Naturally, when selecting a facility we want to ensure we seek a responsible and loving facility with Christian morality to care for our family members. We may seek a nursing home that is close to work or home so that we may visit. The food often must be of a certain standard. They should have activities to keep our loved ones engaged and busy. They should offer church services at least every Sunday. However, the most heavy weighing concern that we face is elderly abuse.
Elderly abuse is a problem that is continuing to grow. Of the 17,000 registered facilities in the United States, over one-third have been cited for elderly abuse. This number is alarming, particularly since most people have at least one family member in a facility.
Since facilities are required to report even the smallest incident, the cases of abuse vary greatly. Some incidents may revolve around the physical location itself, citing unsafe conditions or certain preventable accidents. Unfortunately, most of the incidents revolve around their care. This could include untreated bedsores that could lead to infection, malnutrition or dehydration, insufficient medical care, or inadequate sanitation and hygiene.
Sometimes the situations were caused by other patients. These may be violent outbreaks that were not properly addressed in a timely fashion. These outbreaks may cause physical harm and should be handled correctly.
Sadly, there are other cases that make the aforementioned situations seem very minute. There were more grievous crimes that included sexual molestation, violent physical assault sometimes leading to broken bones, and even sanctioned abuse from other patients.
While there is really no excuse for this sort of neglect, some facilities are pointing fingers. The finger is being pointed towards a staffing issue. Facilities are claiming that there aren’t enough people seeking certified nurse’s assistant, licensed vocation nurse, or working aide positions. The claim is that the hiring pool is just too small. Since CNAs are only being paid $7-$9 hourly, it’s easy to see why people are not seeking the positions.
Some facilities are also blaming government assistance– claiming either that facilities are abusing the handouts or that it’s simply not enough. The federal assistance, provided in joint by Medicaid and Medicare, is provided to nursing homes to assist in the cost of care. Yet, many facilities say it doesn’t even begin to meet their needs. The facilities are saying this is also why their staff are not paid a reasonable wage.
While there isn’t much that can be done as concerned individuals, any concerns should be brought to the attention of the facility and any necessary parties. There are also nursing home abuse law firms that specialize in rectifying the situation, often times seeking compensation for the necessary medical care associated with the incident.
To avoid the situation, be sure to do plenty of research about any facility that interests you. Ask for referrals from friends and family, as well as your doctor and church leaders. Find reviews from other people that have used the nursing home and have experience in working with them. If you can, spend some time and complete a thorough tour of the facilities. Not all situations can be avoiding but you can do your best to find a safe and loving environment.