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What increases a nursing home resident’s risk of mistreatment?

On Behalf of | Feb 15, 2024 | Elder Abuse |

In an ideal world, nursing homes would be havens of care and support. Sadly, many residents live in more of a nightmare world, filled with constant fear of harm.

All nursing home residents can suffer abuse or neglect, but some may be at greater risk due to certain factors. Understanding them can empower you to be a vigilant advocate for your loved ones and ensure their safety.

Ageism and frailty

The misconception (and sometimes truth) that elderly adults are less likely to complain fuels neglectful abuse. Staff might assume they can get away with poor care due to stereotypes about frailty. If your loved one is elderly and vulnerable, be extra vigilant about their care.

Gender disparity

Women residents experience higher abuse rates than their male counterparts. Two possible reasons are their longer lifespans and greater use of long-term care. Some may abuse or neglect female residents because they believe them to be weaker than men.

Cognitive decline

Dementia patients rely heavily on caregivers and are incredibly vulnerable to neglect and abuse. The fact that they may not remember abusive incidents could make them an inviting target.

Challenging behaviors

Chronic pain, mental illness and delirium are three conditions that can lead to trying nursing home resident behaviors. Unfortunately, overworked and frustrated nursing home employees may resort to harmful practices when dealing with challenging residents.

Even though these and other factors can increase risk, abuse can happen in seemingly ideal environments and even to healthy older residents. If you suspect any form of mistreatment, speak up immediately. Seek legal guidance and advocate for your loved one’s safety.

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