Factors and causes of nursing home neglect

Many elderly loved ones live and receive medical care and daily meals all one roof. However, elder neglect often lives under the roofs of nursing homes too.

Preventing and addressing this neglect can begin with knowing old age makes people more susceptible to abuse. It’s also useful to examine some of the underlying causes of nursing home abuse.

Vulnerable population

Many aging people have health problems that might’ve pushed them to move into a nursing home in the first place. Some common conditions members of the aging population go through that can limit mobility  or make them more dependent on care include balance issues, osteoarthritis, respiratory diseases and cognitive decline.

As a staff member of a nursing home, it’s simply not okay to not respond to or blatantly ignore someone who needs and pays for several hours of help and care each day. And if a resident is suffering from a worsening condition, it’s unacceptable for their needs to slip through the crack just because a staff member is not attentive or adjusting to the changing needs of each resident. When a resident’s needs are ignored, then neglect, a prevalent form of nursing home abuse, takes place.

Although you might’ve heard good things about a care facility, it’s worth checking in with the resident you know there. Check to see if the services they receive correlate to their needs. Make sure that, at a minimum, their basic needs are a priority to the staff and management. You can do this by asking if someone comes to bathe them regularly, brings them meals, administers their medication and does anything else necessary to help them maintain their health.

Causes of abuse

Beyond being a malicious or poorly trained staff member, there are other reasons why elder abuse exists in nursing homes across the country, including:

  • The nursing home has no system in place to prevent abuse
  • High staff turnover can lead to quick hiring and minimal screening of new employees
  • The facility’s management doesn’t hire enough staff members to keep up with turnover
  • Understaffing can create a stressed out or worn-out staff

Since neglect can happen at a seemingly top-notch facility, you should keep up to date with anyone you know that lives in a nursing home. Being proactive about looking for signs of abuse can help you report it before it causes your loved one further health problems or wrongful death.