One day, each of us will have to place a family member in a nursing care facility. What we don't expect is for our family members to be mistreated in these facilities. As statistically proven by the National Association of Adult Protective Services Administrators (NAAPSA) for the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA) (www.elderabusecenter.org), in a 2000 study that included responses from all 50 states plus the District of Columbia and Guam, elder abuse has reached epidemic proportions, with more than 166,000 cases substantiated for that year (of 472,813 reports).
Everyone should feel safe and secure in their own home. For many elder and disabled citizens, nursing homes and other extended care facilities are their homes. Unfortunately, such residents often lack the fundamental ability to protect themselves where they live. Most nursing home employees are excellent caregivers who are experienced with doing physically difficult and emotionally draining jobs. It is particularly tragic however when defenseless elders suffer at the hands of the very people who are hired to provide for their protection and daily care.
Common problems that occur in elderly care facilities include, but are not limited to: poor sanitation, malnutrition, inadequate medical care, frequent preventable accidents, abuse (physical and emotional), financial fraud, and sometimes homicide. Many of the previously stated problems occur as a result of poorly trained staff, under staffing, and a lack of ethics. There are several different ways to correct and/or prevent the abuse and mistreatment that are so prevalent in elderly care facilities today. The facility owners and managers can help by properly pre-screening and training employees, and hiring adequate staff to properly care for the residents. Families of potential residents may also want to thoroughly investigate the facility that they are interested in, by contacting boards on the local state and national levels to acquire...
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