Preventing Elder Abuse in Long-Term Care Facilities

prevent elder abuse nursing home long term care

There are approximately 52 million people in the U.S. over the age of 65 and that number is expected to increase to 95 million by 2060. As Americans live longer, the need for long-term care living facilities grows.  Unfortunately, elder abuse occurs in these types of facilities so family members and their elderly loved one need to know what to do to prevent elder abuse.

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Four Ways to Prevent Elder Abuse

Look at the facility – in person.

Before choosing a nursing home or long-term care facility, you and your loved one need to tour the facility in person. Things to look for and discuss include (but are not limited to):

  • Is there enough staff to give each resident the care they deserve?
  • Does the staff seem overworked or stressed?
  • Does the staff provide compassionate care?
  • Do residents receive high-quality food, medicine, and healthcare treatment?
  • Are there a wide range of activities residents can engage in?

Ask specific questions about the facility’s hiring practices, turnover rates, and administrative oversight. A physical visit enables you to see staff working conditions, talk to staff and other residents, and see for yourself how residents are treated.

With our digital world today, there might be the desire to show you the facilities via a video walk-through or via Skype. Digital can help you narrow your search down, but nothing can take the place of an actual in-person visit.

Keep in regular touch.

Do regular check-ins with your loved one.

Some people hesitate to go into a nursing home or long-term facility. Out of sight can mean out of mind and your loved one may think the family has forgotten them.

Do regular check-ins with your loved one. Visit, call, write, even send a video. Ask how they are being treated, if there are any problems, how their health is and so on. This tells your loved one you care, which will make them more likely to tell you about any concerns they may have. Visits are especially important since it enables you to see your loved one and if there are any physical or emotional signs of abuse.

Questions? Call us at (877) 284-6600.

Know the different types of abuse and their signs.

  • Physical abuse warning signs include unexplained broken bones, bruises or scratches, and  marks from in appropriate restraints among others.
  • Emotional abuse warning signs include withdrawal, regressive behaviors, limited or no eye contact and mood swings.
  • Sexual abuse warning signs include unexplained STDs, ripped under clothes, and bruising in the genital area.
  • Financial abuse warning signs include unexplained ATM withdrawals and unusual bank activity.

Take Reports of Abuse Seriously

If your loved one tells you about an abusive situation, take it seriously and investigate. Call the facility and ask for details. Talk to staff. If you do not get satisfactory answers, report the allegation to the proper authorities.


Statistics on Elderly Living in Long-Term Facilities

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Long-Term Care Services, the number of elderly persons requiring care by others:

  • People who receive long-term care from all sources: 8,357,100
  • People who receive long-term care from home health agencies: 4,742,500
  • People who receive long-term care in a nursing home: 2,000,000
  • People who receive hospice care: 1,244,500
  • People who live in a residential care community: 713,000
  • People who use adult day care service centers: 273,200

DO YOU NEED LEGAL ASSISTANCE?

If your elderly loved one has suffered any form of elder abuse, put a stop to it immediately. Talk with the facility’s administrative staff or file a grievance.

Should you need a personal injury lawyer in the Kansas City area with expertise in nursing home abuse lawsuits, call Nash & Franciskato at (877) 284-6600. One of our experienced staff will speak with you personally and will provide you with a free, no-obligation review of your case.

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