Residents of nursing homes are less likely to experience nursing home neglect and abuse when they are visited often by family, friends, and other loved ones. You can become their eyes, ears, and voice when they become debilitated and unable to make their wants and needs known.
Nursing Home Neglect and Abuse Statistics
According to the National Center on Elder Abuse, in 2010 there were 16,639 Nursing Homes in the US with 1,736,645 beds. “Over 50% of nursing home staff admitted to mistreating (e.g. physical violence, mental abuse, neglect) older patients within the prior year in one study. Two thirds of those incidents involved neglect. [Ben Natan, M., & Lowenstein, A. (2010). Study of factors that affect abuse of older people in nursing homes. Nursing Management, 17(8),]
What You Can Do
Make sure to pay attention to potential signs of nursing home neglect. These include changes in behavior such as being withdrawn and uncommunicative, sudden weight loss, a growing lack of friendly communication with nursing home staff and other residents of the nursing home, and changes in personal appearance and hygiene efforts.
Keep your eyes open for unsafe environments in the nursing home such as poor lighting, unsafe mobility equipment, and medication carts that are not protected to keep residents safe. Make sure that your loved one’s mattress is flush with the bed frame or bed rails to prevent possible suffocation.
If something does not look right to you, do not hesitate to bring it to the attention of the nursing home staff. Elderly residents have spent their lifetimes taking care of others. It is their turn to be properly cared for.
If you or a loved one is harmed by nursing home negligence, let Altizer Law, P.C., be your eyes, ears and voice to navigate the complicated area of nursing home negligence and abuse cases.