Five Ways to Help Prevent Nursing Home Abuse
Did you know that around 1.4 million people live in U.S. nursing homes? Most of these individuals are over the age of 60 and require extra care during their day-to-day lives. This can make them vulnerable to mistreatment. When a person responsible for an individual takes advantage of this vulnerability it can result in abuse. Thankfully there are some ways to prevent elder abuse in nursing homes.
Our Milwaukee nursing home abuse attorneys want to help fight nursing home abuse. Here are five ways we can all help eliminate this devastating issue.
5 Ways to Prevent Elder Abuse in Nursing Homes
- Education – Elder abuse is one of the most under-reported forms of abuse in our country. A study by the National Research Council estimates that people only contact authorities once out of every 14 elder abuse cases. This is especially alarming when you realize that one in 10 Americans over 60 have experienced elder abuse. Experts believe that part of the problem is that many people do not realize it is such a prevalent problem. This means spreading the word and educating others should be a top priority in preventing nursing home abuse.
- Training – In a study of nursing home workers, many participants claimed to have little knowledge of elder abuse. This may have led to unintentional abuses or neglect. Ask your loved one’s care facility what measures they take to train its staff. Ask the facility for specifics to ensure it is not shirking this duty. The more caregivers know, the better their chances of stopping abuse before it starts.
- Background Checks – Abusive/negligent facilities and caretakers do sometimes have a record of offenses. You can now go online and check these records to see if a facility has had complaints filed against it. The Wisconsin Department of Health Services is a good place to start looking for reports. Also, if certain nursing home employees seem suspicious to you, there are online sites that help with background checks.
- Resident Committee – Another useful tool against abuse is the nursing facility’s resident committee. These groups are generally made up of both residents and administrators at nursing homes. They give the patients a voice about what is happening at the home. This is a good setting to voice concerns as well as take steps to fix problems. Be sure your loved one is in a nursing home with such a committee.
- Getting Involved – Possibly the best way to prevent elder abuse in nursing homes is to be present with your loved ones. Call often, visit regularly and communicate with the staff about your concerns. Abusers may avoid residents with family members that are regularly present. These visits and calls may also make it more likely that an elder will open up to you when something is wrong.
Having a Wisconsin Nursing Home Abuse Attorney May Also Help
Though these measures can go a long way to stop abuse, it is not a cure. Negligence and predatory behavior are a constant danger when it comes to nursing homes. Seniors injured by such abuse deserve compensation, and that is how we may be able to help.
At Martin Law Office, S.C., we have the experience to deal with these cases. Our principal attorney Kevin R. Martin is a registered nurse with the medical experience to bolster your case. Call us at (414) 856-4010 or send us an online message for a free consultation.