3 steps for preventing nursing home abuse

As you consider placing your aging parent in a nursing home, one thing to remember is the possibility of abuse. Unfortunately, according to the Nursing Home Abuse Center, rates of abuse are significant, with neglect occurring at more than double the abuse rate. Most of these instances go unreported, however.

You can take preventive measures to reduce the chances of your parent experiencing abuse and neglect while away from your supervision and care. Here are three to get you started.

1. Choose the right facility

The first thing to do is research facilities thoroughly before choosing one. Look up reviews and reports online, visit the facility and talk to current residents and their families to get an accurate perspective on the place. If price is an issue, rest assured that there are many high-ranking nursing homes that accept Medicaid and Medicare.

2. Install a camera in the room

Illinois is one of the few states that allow cameras in nursing home rooms so you can catch any inappropriate or harmful actions. This evidence can be a strong deterrent of abuse and neglect. Note that you have to pay for installation and maintenance, receive the consent of your parent and any roommates, and post a notification that there is a camera in the room.

3. Know the signs

While physical violence is one form of abuse, it is not the only one or the most common. Other types of abuse and neglect are sexual assault, emotional or verbal abuse, overmedication, financial manipulation, and lack of sufficient supervision and care. Signs to watch for include:

  • Bedsores, bruises and injuries
  • Lack of proper hygienic care
  • Weight loss
  • Changes in personality or mental state
  • Fear or anxiety
  • Depression or social withdrawal
  • Changes in finances, wills and legal appointments

Nursing home staff are not the only ones you need to keep an eye on. Abuse can also come from other residents and even your own family members.