It’s never easy to place your loved one in a nursing home, especially as it means relying on strangers for most of their care. You may worry constantly about their well-being and fear that they are being treated badly when you’re not around – and unfortunately, these are very reasonable concerns.
Nursing home abuse is alarmingly prevalent, both in the Chicagoland region and across the world. More than half of nursing home staff admit to perpetrating at least one form of abuse on the residents of their facility, which can include ignoring their needs, aggressively handling them, insulting or demeaning them, or even assaulting them. These alarming statistics make it all that more evident that you need to stay vigilant in regards to abuse of your elderly loved ones. Today, we’ll discuss why it’s so essential that you stay involved in your relative’s care, how to properly advocate for a resident, and how to get justice for abuses perpetrated by nursing home staff.
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Staying involved in your loved one’s treatments will ensure high quality care
It’s distressing to see a loved one suffering, and some people shy away from these unpleasant experiences out of their own anxiety. However, refusing to face your relative’s condition and advocate for them can be a costly mistake which will prevent your parent, sibling, or spouse from getting the best care possible; it can also cause irreparable emotional damage which will push your loved one away during those precious last years of life.
Being a nursing home can be a very distressing and lonely experience, as your loved one has had to leave their own house and neighborhood to move in with a bunch of strangers. There are a variety of new experiences involved, and having a familiar face present throughout can make a world of difference. Not only will you be able to provide emotional support, but you can also inform the nursing staff of any particular preferences your loved one has, whether that’s something as simple as liking to have a fan on when they sleep to more important matters, such as phobias or fears.
Your participation can also serve as a sign to the staff that your loved one has someone who cares for them, who will notice neglect or abuse; this can ensure that the staff is on their best behavior whenever they interact with your loved one.
Even if this doesn’t deter any problems, you’ll be around to monitor your loved one’s condition and quickly note any signs of nursing home abuse, meaning that you can start the process of moving them out of the substandard facility and into somewhere that will keep them safe. Given that elderly individuals are more fragile than younger people, even one more week of poor treatment can make a tremendous difference in how they recover from the experience.
Understand your loved one’s condition and don’t be afraid to ask questions
The best thing you can do for your loved one is stay present during their time at the nursing home, but the second thing you can do is to research their condition and understand the treatments involved. This is especially true for disorders like dementia, which can be very confusing to an outsider and may make you wrongly fear poor treatment by nursing staff.
Being familiar with the disease progressions and the expected interventions means you’ll be able to notice when your relative is getting substandard care, which will allow you to quickly step in should you suspect abuse.
Talking knowledgeably about treatment and maintenance of their condition with the staff will also encourage them to provide better care, knowing that you’re watching closely and will recognize if they’re not acting according to professional standards.
If you identify signs of abuse, it’s time to get a qualified personal injury lawyer involved
Should you notice anything amiss with your loved one’s treatment, whether that’s bed sores, bruises, increased medical issues, or outright accusations from the resident, you need to quickly contact a qualified nursing home abuse lawyer who can begin investigating the situation. The sooner that your legal team can begin gathering evidence, the stronger their case will be – and the safer your loved one will be. Your lawyer is an ally in advocacy, and they will do their best to ensure that your family is properly compensated for the pain and suffering caused by the abusive facility.
Any personal injury case is complex, but there are some special considerations involved when it comes to those involving elderly plaintiffs, especially if they have underlying medical conditions like dementia. A law firm familiar with nursing home lawsuits will work their hardest to minimize stresses on your loved one while still pursuing justice to the full extent of the law; this is why it’s essential that you find an attorney that has deep experience in this type of personal injury suit.
No one wants to put their loved one in a nursing home, but should you decide that this is for the best, it’s important that you remain involved throughout your relative’s time there. This can be the difference between excellent care that keeps your relatives happy and healthy, and halfhearted nursing that only keeps them alive. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, and never hesitate to consult with a lawyer should you suspect any abuse. It’s always better safe than sorry, especially when vulnerable individuals are involved – your advocacy is essential for your elderly family members.