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What do you think contributes to nursing home neglect?


Should staff who are found guilty of nursing home neglect reap more serious consequences than just being fired?
Do you think patients with Dementia or Alzheimer's are more susceptible to nursing home neglect?
How do you think nursing home neglect can be ended?

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Sometimes students come to ask questions pertaining to a class they're taking. I appreciate the trouble they go through to research and sign up.

As for a staff member facing consequences other than being fired for neglect, when someone works in patient care they are registered with the family registry (I think that's what it's called). An employer inquires about a potential staff member or someone who is interviewing for a position and the employer checks this registry to make sure the potential employee is a member in good standing. If the potential employee has never been registered, they will be registered once they get a job working in the healthcare field.

I've been in healthcare for 20 years and various employers and volunteer organizations I work for do a check on me about every 6 months to make sure I'm still in good standing. I get a letter after each inquiry. If a person is fired for neglect that will go on the registry and that person will find it difficult to find work in healthcare again.
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Yep. You’re right, as usual GA!
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Methinks someone is writing an article or paper on this issue. The question "Should staff who are found guilty..." infers neglect at a level involving criminal prosecution. Most of the neglect I've seen may not rise to that level, for a simple reason: proof of who and what were actually responsible.
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Are you asking on general purposes or do you have suspicions that a loved one is being mistreated?

If it’s the latter, one way to be sure is to make yourself very visible at the facility. Even though I was also caring for Hubby at the time, I visited Mom at least 2-3 times a week, at different times. I got to know 90% of the aides on her floor and both Day RNs. I ate the food and was even friendly with a lot of the other residents. I had no issues with suspecting neglect. If I had, I would have spoken to one of the RNs, then the Director of Nursing, then the Administrator. But, I’d have had to have a good reason. I wouldn’t have done that just because I came in and Mom wasn’t up and dressed yet. Mom also told me they weren’t feeding her and her tray with food on it was right by her chair. That’s not a “firing offense”. I just got her out of bed and dressed her. Now, if she’d been unwashed, uncombed, and/or unfed regularly, that’s different. Physical injuries warrant prosecution beyond dismissal.

I don’t think dementia patients are singled out for abuse or neglect. That’s a different ballgame. They, themselves can become combative and cause their own injuries then say someone else did it. When my mom was in Memory Care, I often thought the nurses and aides were like the people who spin plates on sticks and try to keep them all spinning and not fall off. Those people had to have unbelievable patience and dedication to their patients.

There is no simple answer to ending neglect in nursing homes. It would involve paying these people more, (which would hike fees even higher), better training, better screening, more stringent facility inspections and monitoring...the list goes on.

If you suspect something at a facility a loved one is in, I’d suggest you conduct your own research there before you say anything to anyone.
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Mariah, what do you consider to be nursing home neglect?

I know some feel that a nursing home was neglectful when a patient falls. But to those of us who have dealt with our own elders with falling, falling can happen in a split second even with nurses, aides, and family in the room. Would we say a family member who is caring for an elder in their home to be neglectful if that happened?

And at times what might seem like neglect, the patient is refusing to eat, to take a bath, etc. A nurse/aide can't put that patient over their shoulder to take them to the dining room or the bathroom, to force them to eat or be bathed.

Yes, nurses/aides can lose their tempers, no different than someone caring for a person living at home. It's human nature when we get overwhelmed. This is tough work, thus the large turn over of personnel.

I remember half a century ago seeing reports about nursing home neglect back when patients with dementia were placed in asylums. Oh those places were scary, as dementia patients usually were placed in wards with patients who had serious mental issues not related to dementia. Thankfully over the years, such places have closed up.

If you can give us sample of what you consider neglect, that would be helpful.
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