Why does nursing home abuse occur?

June 23, 2011 - 3 minutes read

Can you imagine any reason a person would intentionally harm an elderly person? Elder abuse victims and their loved ones struggle with this question daily. Several individuals in assisted living facilities are defenseless and often physically incapable of protecting themselves. Nevertheless, elderly residents are violated each year in nursing home abuse incidents. These types of actions are unacceptable and in order to prevent them, we need to understand why they happen.

Lack of Time and Resources

Taking care of our elderly population requires patience and a heartfelt attitude towards the needs of the individual. However, in residences across the country, employees are failing to provide quality care. A reason for this gap is because of the lack of staff available for these positions. Nursing homes may not have quality candidates or the budget to hire additional employees. Remaining employees are left with the burden of extra duties and responsibilities. As a result they spend less time providing individualized care and can disregard basic practices. At the same time, caregiver stress continues to build, and they ultimately may begin taking it out on their patients.

Improper Screening of Prospective Employees

If possible, nursing homes will try to alleviate this stress by hiring additional staff to fill gaps. However, in their attempts, they can rush through the hiring process without doing critical investigations of the prospective applicant. These facilities can improperly screen potential employees by failing to follow up on references and criminal background checks. Missing these steps creates an avenue for harmful hiring decisions that put patients at risk of nursing home abuse.

Inadequate Training

Not only do elder care homes have lapses in hiring decisions, they also create an unsafe atmosphere with inadequate training practices. As patients age, they develop a variety of complex medical and mental conditions. This requires a specific level of expertise and knowledge to cater the varying health needs of patients. Employees who have a limited understanding of these needs often violate the boundaries between caretaker and resident. They will either ignore symptoms or take advantage of their disabled state.

Victims, especially those with multiple ailments, find it hard to communicate nursing home abuse to their families because they recognize that their abuser is also their caregiver. If you have a family member or friend that is in an assisted living home, make sure to discuss with them the details of their care. It is important that you stay aware of the behavior of staff, and even other residents, to prevent abusive incidents from occurring.

Nursing home abuse is a tragic situation that preys on the weak and vulnerable. Do not allow it to harm a loved one any longer. Report caretaker abuse and take legal action against the person or entity that is responsible. Contact the lawyers at Johnson Law Group to allow us to defend your case against nursing home abuse.