It’s not an easy choice to decide to send your loved one to a nursing home, but it is sometimes the only choice that is left. To compound the difficulty of the decision is the very real fear of elder abuse. This person you are choosing to put in a nursing home has loved you and guided you for many years of your life. You want them to have the utmost in caretaking and not be at risk for elder abuse.
Elder Abuse is a Sad Reality
It’s sad that those who are unable to care for themselves are at the most risk for abuse, whether it is small children or older adults. The National Center on Elder Abuse states that it is difficult to obtain exact numbers on elder abuse, as all cases are not reported. However, they estimate that one in ten aging adults experience some type of abuse, not including financial.
Abuse comes in many forms. For the elderly, simple neglect can be the worst abuse. Their teeth may not get brushed daily or their hair may not be combed. They may be forced to wear their Depends for hours on end instead of being changed daily. Their favorite foods and activities may be withheld from them if they are not behaving to the standards of the staff. Outright physical abuse does happen, but neglect is even more common.
Preventing and Reporting Abuse
To protect your loved one, you need to recognize the signs of abuse. Ask the home that you are considering for placement to provide information about preventing and reporting elder abuse. Better yet, choose a home where abuse is unheard of and frowned upon.
For instance, St. Anthony’s Health Center offers what is called the Platinum Service Program, put on by the Goodman Group. The initiative was formed by the same man who created the highly acclaimed customer service program at the Ritz Carlton Hotel chain. If you want your senior to feel like they are staying at the Ritz, check to see if the facility offers Platinum Services. Every employee at St. Anthony’s must attend The Goodman’s Group Platinum Service training and must agree to follow the 20 principles laid out in the training.
Each morning, the daily focus is announced and employees all over the nation focus on achieving a certain principle such as, “I place our residents at the center of everything I do, personalizing my services to meet their preferences.” By reciting and focusing on one principle each day, these values are continually practiced and fine-tuned.
Don’t let putting your loved one in a nursing home be a decision that breaks your heart. Do your research, talk to other family members and look for things such as the Platinum Service Program that make the center stand out from others in the area. Your senior spent many years taking care of other people and their last years should not be filled with neglect and abuse.