Reports show that nursing home abuse, including instances of nursing home negligence increased 20% from 2001-2002. There are approximately 17,000 nursing homes in the United States caring for over 1.6 million older adults. More than 30 percent of the country’s nursing homes have been cited for violations that put residents in harm’s way.
Facility or Caretaker Responsibilities:
- Is the patient correctly positioned in bed, and turned / moved frequently?
- Are room and facility conditions clean and sanitary?
- Are fecal or urine odors present in the room or facility?
- Is the staff responsive to family questions and requests for assistance and changes?
- Is there enough staff present for the resident’s unit, and are frequent room visits made?
- Does the staff answer call bells or cries for help in a timely manner?
- Does the staff give proper assistance during meals?
- Does the staff help residents with walking?
- Does the staff give proper encouragement and assistance with lifestyle activities?
- Are financial matters handled properly (the resident is aware of their finances, resident funds are secure or kept in interest-bearing accounts)?
- Is stealing or embezzling of a resident’s money or property occurring?
These and other warning signs are often the best way of knowing if neglect and abuse have occurred or will occur. It is up to the resident’s family members or visitors to be observant, and to take action if neglect or abuse is present or suspected.