Avoiding Abuse: Help Your Loved One Be Safe in Their New Home
Posted by Jen Campbell
Assistant Administrator, Westview Nursing and Rehabilitation Center
More than two million cases of elder abuse in nursing homes are reported every year – and many more likely go unreported. Residents are vulnerable because of their age and limitations but there are still steps you can take to protect them from threats or physical injury.
- Find caregivers you trust. The most important thing to look for when selecting a nursing home is one that you trust to care for your loved one. Start by asking for recommendations from friends or family members. And make sure to tour your options. When visiting a facility, ask about the residents’ rights and protections. Pay attention to how staff treat the residents. And look at the environment, from the way residents look to the cleanliness of the facility. Use the CMS checklist for more things to consider.
- Be an active participant in your loved one’s care. Once your loved one is admitted at a facility, get involved from the start. Help the staff get to know your loved one on a personal level by sharing their likes and dislikes. Be sure the staff develop a care plan with both your and your loved one’s input so that it addresses their individual needs. And play an active role in meetings when the care plan is being discussed or updated.
- Make your visits valuable. When visiting, pick different times and days of the week so you can meet the various staff on shift and see how they interact with your loved one. Take the time to get to know the caregivers. And compliment staff to their supervisors so they know they’re valued.
- Look for signs of neglect. Abuse of residents doesn’t mean they’ll necessarily have bruises or other visible injuries. Be sure to pay attention to other changes in your loved one or their appearance like unexplained weight loss, dirty clothes or increased confusion that could be caused by overmedication or sedatives.
- Raise concerns in a timely manner. If you notice a potential problem or have concerns about the treatment of your loved one, find out the steps for reporting an issue and who you should speak to. Be assertive and honest in your communication but try to remain calm. And be sure to provide positive feedback when your problems are addressed.
At West View, our staff is committed to ensuring the health and well-being of your loved one. With an average longevity of nine years in our nursing department, our staff are like family, and treat residents like one as well.
About West View Nursing & Rehabilitation Center
West View Nursing & Rehabilitation Center is a 120-bed skilled nursing facility providing long-term care and rehabilitation services located in West Warwick, Rhode Island. At West View, our commitment is to treat every resident with the respect and dignity that he or she deserves, and to involve them and their family in the development and implementation of their care plan in order to maximize positive results.