You've been with your spouse for many years, but you know that he is not able to care for himself anymore. You're getting older, too, and you need to know that he is getting the care he needs. While you don't want to look into nursing care, you know it's the right thing to do. Where do you start, though? How can you make sure your spouse is cared for in the same way that you'd care for him if you could?
Here are five ways to recognize nursing home abuse or negligence, so you can find a nursing facility that fits your spouse's needs while protecting him from unnecessary pain and suffering.
1. Bedsores are a sign of neglect
When patients can't turn or move well on their own, nurses need to help them do so regularly. Failing to move a patient from the same position for hours on end results in bedsores, which may become infected and hinder your loved one's quality of life.
2. Falls could show signs of abuse
Not every fall in a nursing home is a result of abuse, but many are. Did your loved one call for help only to be left waiting so long that he had to get up on his own? Did a nurse fail to hold onto him or encourage him to take unsafe steps on his own? These could indicate signs of abuse.
3. Medical errors are unacceptable
Each nursing facility has its own system for identifying patients and their medications, and these systems should prevent medication errors. You should not find out that your loved one has not received his medications or that he received the incorrect medications due to a nurse's incompetence.
4. Not having enough staff causes problems
It's near impossible for one nurse to run an entire ward, and the same is true in a nursing home. Each nurse needs to have aides and other helpers to get the job done. Find a nursing facility with a high staff-to-patient ratio to make sure your loved one gets the attention he needs.
5. Negligent hiring is a real issue
Before you place your loved one in a nursing home, it's fair to want to know the facility's hiring practices. Hiring someone on a do-not-hire list or someone withou t licensing is negligent and opens your loved one up to potential abuse.
It's estimated that one out of every 10 Americans aged 60 and older have suffered from a type of elder abuse. If you find that your spouse has been victimized, you have the right to file a claim.