4 Myths Surrounding Nursing Home Abuse
For many families, pursuing the decision to move a loved one into a nursing home is an intimidating feat. Many people are aware of various elderly abuse incidents associated with nursing home facilities. For example, there are instances in which residents of nursing homes have endured broken bones, bruises, financial ruin, inadequate nursing care, threats, and more while in the care of nursing home professionals.
It is 100% possible for a person to continue living a healthy and safe life after transitioning into a nursing home; however, there is always a chance elderly abuse might occur. This abuse can range from physical, emotional, sexual, and financial harm, in addition to neglect, the most common type of elderly abuse. Because of public concern with nursing homes and elderly abuse, there are a number of myths surrounding the subject.
Myth #1: Victims of Nursing Home Abuse are Mentally Incompetent
Elderly abuse is thought to occur most often to people who are mentally incompetent, meaning the victims are unaware of what is happening to them and might be unable to speak up about what is taking place. However, many victims of elderly abuse have completely intact minds. In some circumstances, victims’ bodies might be weak or disabled, but in the majority of situations people who endure elderly abuse know what is happening to them. Unfortunately, many times victims of elderly abuse are held back by fear or other reasons that cause them to refrain from reporting their suffering.
Myth #2: If there are No Visible Signs of Abuse, There is No Abuse
When people think “abuse,” an idea of bruises, cuts, scrapes or broken bones frequently comes to mind; however, elderly abuse is oftentimes not physically visible. Elderly abuse also comes in the form of financial and emotional abuse, and there are such things as “invisible” signs of abuse.
Myth #3: Elderly Abuse Only Happens to Women
Two out of three nursing home residents are female, so it is natural to think that women are the most common victims of elderly abuse in nursing homes. In fact, women are the most common victims of physical elderly abuse. However, this does not mean that male residents are not also susceptible to physical abuse, in addition to the various types of elderly abuse discussed above. The bottom line: any resident in a nursing home can fall victim to any type of elderly abuse.
Myth #4: There’s Nothing to Do if Nursing Home Staff Mistreat My Loved One
Most nursing homes receive internal quality assurance checks and are supervised by state agencies. As a result, nursing home facilities are inspected and monitored frequently. Therefore, if you suspect elderly abuse is taking place, do not ignore or hesitate to bring your concerns to an administrator or an employee higher-up in the nursing home. It is his or her job to make sure each resident is taken care of properly.
Before committing to a nursing home facility, families should research the facility thoroughly by considering its policies, staff, current residents, and feel. Moreover, once your loved one is living in the nursing home, visit him or her frequently and pay attention to his or her physical and emotional well-being. Changes might be a sign of abuse.