Elderly loved ones often cannot speak out against the abuse they face. There are a few reasons for that, such as being scared of the abuser, having a memory condition that makes it hard to remember incidents or being isolated and unable to reach out for help. In each of these cases, the person who is a victim will continue to suffer as a result of their inability to get help.
The good news about nursing homes is that not everyone is bad. Even if there is one nurse who is abusive or a single resident who lashes out at others, there are people there looking out for the better interests of patients. Often, it is coworkers or other residents who report abuse to help those who are threatened. This can’t be relied on, though, so there are some steps you need to take to keep your loved one safe.
1. Be a regular visitor
The first thing you should do is become a regular visitor to the nursing home. This can be difficult if you live far away, but even if you don’t have the ability to visit often, you need to make yourself known. Stop in randomly when you can, and call in regularly to speak with the staff members who work with your loved one.
2. Talk to your loved one regularly
Another step to take is to speak with your loved one regularly. Remember that not all people feel comfortable admitting to abuse over the phone, so you should also take your loved one out of the facility, if possible, to have a conversation without others who can hear.
3. Consider getting a camera for the room
If you think abuse may be taking place, you may have a right to put a small recording device in the room. This may allow you to watch how the staff members treat your loved one and see if there is anything inappropriate about their behaviors. If so, you’ll have evidence if you choose a device that saves the footage and doesn’t just live stream.
These are three tips you can use to help find out if abuse is taking place and to protect your loved one. From digital aids like cameras and recorders to talking to your loved one, simple changes in routine can help you keep a better eye on them in a nursing home or assisted-living facility.