For a variety of reasons, the number of people visiting nursing homes has reduced since COVID started in 2020. Visiting loved ones in nursing homes is essential, though, because it creates a kind of checks and balances system for the nursing home community.
When people visit their relatives in a nursing home, they are a second set of eyes and ears. They will be able to see if there are changes in their loved ones’ behaviors or if there are unexplained illnesses or injuries that hadn’t been disclosed to them over the phone.
Fewer visits may equal greater abuse
Going into a nursing home gives you the opportunity to check on your relatives’ health and safety. You will meet the staff who is working with your loved ones and get the opportunity to have your say if you feel that someone isn’t a good fit to work with them.
If you cannot attend the nursing home regularly, then you may not meet new staff members. You might not see that your loved ones don’t like a nurse or aide who is particularly rough or lazy, and you certainly wouldn’t know if their medications were being given correctly or on time.
As the family member of a relative (or relatives) in a nursing home, you aren’t expected to know everything or to be the one who enforces the way the staff should act, but you are there as a second line of defense. If your loved one can’t speak up for themselves, then it’s your duty to speak with the staff or the nursing home director to make sure that your relative is being cared for in the way that is consistent with the rules of the medical community.
When family members don’t visit their relatives in nursing homes, the opportunity for abuse is rife. While that doesn’t mean that a patient will be abused, it’s more likely that any abuse or negligence will go unnoticed. This could mean that a patient will be suffering in silence or even pass away unexpectedly as a result of mistakes or misconduct.
Regular visits are key to keeping an eye on your relative and keeping them socially connected. It’s a good idea to visit as often as you can.