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Families urged to differentiate small problems from elder abuse

Nursing home care is a topic of concern to many Americans today. With our aging population, the need to provide not just adequate but positive and exceptional care for elderly residents and patients is high. Sadly, there are too many reported instances of nursing home abuse or neglect in our nation's nursing homes and assisted living centers. Such situations can leave family members extremely distraught.

One recent news post discusses the concern family members have for the care of their loved ones in nursing homes. With the best of intentions at heart and concerns about elder abuse abounding, it can be too easy for some people to worry about smaller things that truly are safe and in the best interest of residents. The article identifies some common things like activities once thought beneath a person but now quite appropriate and good for them. These include bingo or playing volleyball with balloons.

The article encourages family members to better delineate the small things from what could be true warning signs of neglect that require attention. Insufficient care that could lead to bedsores, a fall or other injury is noted as an appropriate area of concern. Poor or nonexistent personal hygiene is another potential problem area. Styling of grandma’s hair in a way slightly different than she used to do it, however, is not a serious issue.

Seeing a loved one in a nursing home can be an emotionally difficult thing but everyone is better served when the right things are focused on. You can help keep your relative safe and healthy by noting the right things. If you suspect any problem with nursing home staff or situation, you may wish to consult with a legal professional to learn more about your rights.

Source: Huffington Post, “Family Members: Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff at the Nursing Home,” Marie Marley, September 16, 2013

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