Putting a parent into a nursing home is not an easy thing to do emotionally. You probably worry about the well-being of your mom or dad every day. You may have heard of horror stories regarding abuse and negligence in nursing homes. How can you be sure your parent is safe despite your best efforts?
The key is to remain vigilant in watching for warning signs. You may already know to look for physical evidence, such as bedsores and bruises. However, you also need to be aware of these other ways your parent may suffer.
Lack of records
Do staff come up emptyhanded when you ask to see your parent’s medical records? At worst, the facility is trying to hide its lack of proper care. At best, the staff is simply sloppy and careless. Documentation is vital, however, in ensuring your loved one receives routine care and correct medication. Incomplete or inaccurate charts are a red flag. On the other hand, electronic health records are a good sign and usually lead to better care.
Social media posts
Privacy is no longer a simple matter in today’s digital world. With the tap of a button, what should be private can become public. Posting embarrassing or humiliating photos and videos on social media is an increasing problem in nursing homes. Make sure the workers where your parent lives are off their cellphones and do not use them or have them not only when providing care in the room, but also when interacting with your parent in community spaces. Staff members should always ask permission before taking photos and tell you exactly how they plan to use or share the pictures.
The elderly, especially those with dementia, are prime targets for financial scams. Check your parent’s finances regularly to catch unusual activity, such as a large payment or small reoccurring ones to an unknown recipient, or charges to businesses your parent does not visit. Unfortunately, nursing home staff are not the only possibilities. The culprit often lies among family and friends.