Who is caring for your loved one in a nursing home?

Nursing Home Abuse

When you entrust your mother, father or another loved one to the care of a nursing home, you trust what the representatives tell you: that your loved one will receive specialized care, he or she will be happy and your loved one’s well-being will be the top priority. It often comes as a shock when these claims are revealed to be untrue and abuse or neglect has occurred. Bruising, malnutrition and irritability are a few signs of such incidents.

According to ABC News, one in three nursing home patients is a victim of abuse. This may be due, in part, to the prevalence of marginally trained and skilled staff throughout care facilities. The following are several examples of nursing home staff members of which you should be aware:

Certified nursing assistants

The staff of most nursing homes is dominated by certified nursing assistants. CNAs are typically tasked with providing residents with the one-on-one care they need to be healthy, including assistance with bathing, eating, using the bathroom and getting dressed. To become a CNA, though, one need only take a course that might be as short as four weeks and pass a test.

LPNs and RNs

CNAs’ minimal training is mitigated by the fact that they typically must be supervised by a licensed nurse. You are sure to find many LPNs and RNs in a nursing home, and though these professionals are well-qualified, they are often overworked and unable to personally tend to all the patients and CNAs they oversee.

Private caregivers and support

In some circumstances, nursing homes may even hire completely unlicensed personnel to provide specific care for residents. Private caregivers might be hired to offer companionship or basic supervision, but it is not uncommon for these individuals to receive responsibilities that should only be handled by a medical professional. Support staff should never administer medication or assist with personal tasks, for example.