When your loved ones are aging and require more care than you can provide, what are your options? Unless you can afford an expensive in-home nurse, chances are your options are limited to nursing homes. Putting a loved one in a nursing home is a difficult decision, but in many cases it's the best place for those who are too elderly and sick to stay at home alone. Nursing homes are a popular choice - according to the most recent data available from the Department of Health and Human Services, there are more than 3.2 million patients in nursing homes around the country. A nursing home can provide your loved one with the medical care she needs around the clock, provided by caretakers who are well-trained and experienced medical professionals.
Unfortunately, not all nursing homes treat patients with the care and respect they deserve. Nursing home negligence is a growing issue in North Carolina and around the country. One study found that over 50% of nursing home employees admitted to abusing a patient. Another study found that almost half of nursing home patients claim they've been abused and a staggering 95% claim they've been neglected or have seen staff neglect another patient. According to National Ombudsman Reporting System data, physical abuse by staff is the most common abuse-related complaint from nursing home patients, followed by abuse by other residents and psychological abuse by staff. Gross neglect constitutes 14% of the complaints.
So, how can you know if your loved one is being treated the way she deserves? What are your options if you believe a nursing home patient is being abused?