Few decisions in life are more difficult than choosing to place an elderly parent in a nursing home. Still, if you do not have the skills, time or means to care for your aging loved one, a good nursing home is an excellent option. You should realize, though, that violence sometimes occurs in long-term care facilities.
Recently, prosecutors charged three nursing home employees with abuse after they encouraged residents to fight each other and filmed the altercations. While the incident represents an extreme case of nursing home abuse, it should concern anyone who has placed a loved one in a nursing home. Here are three ways to protect your loved one from violence at a long-term care facility:
1. Avoid isolation
Isolated individuals are more vulnerable to violence. Because nursing home violence can cause serious injury or death, you must proactively address it. Regularly visiting your loved one is one effective strategy. Also, your mother or father should be able to reach you at any time in case she or he ever feels in danger.
2. Encourage activity
Physical activity and mental engagement tend to promote overall good health. They may also keep your elderly relative alert, allowing him or her to identify violence more easily. While the nursing home may offer activities, you should also think about taking your parent off-site when visiting. This approach gives your loved one new stimulation while affording him or her an opportunity to inform you about abuse.
3. Check medication
Nursing home residents often take a variety of prescription and over-the-counter medications. If an unscrupulous nursing home employee administers medication incorrectly, your loved one may be at increased risk of violence. Accordingly, try to understand all the medication your parent takes.
You probably do not have to worry about nursing home workers running a fight club involving your mother or father. Nonetheless, you should try to minimize his or her risk of any type of nursing home violence. As well, if you do suspect your parent is the victim of abuse, you should intervene immediately.