Trenton, NJ- There are a number of reasons why seniors are reluctant to check into a nursing home, but recent research from the U.K. showed abuse and neglect are turning adults off to the notion of entering a nursing home.
The study conducted on behalf of DEMOS, an elder advocacy group, found that only 24 percent of respondents would consider going into a nursing home if they became too frail or unable to care for their basic needs. Forty-three percent said they would not go into the nursing home and 54 percent of those respondents said they feared neglect and abuse in a facility, according to the Telegraph UK.
The survey of 2,000 respondents found that the attributes commonly associated with nursing homes include “isolation,” “boredom,” “illness” and “abuse.”
While this research was conducted in the UK, amidst cases of abuse and neglect in long-term care facility, it is safe to assume that this is also a concern for adults and seniors in the U.S. as many nursing homes across the country have been cited for severe deficiencies.
Families for Better Care, a non-profit elder advocacy group, has a comprehensive list of how the nursing homes in each state measures up. Each state is graded on how many deficiencies they have been cited for and how many hours of direct care a patient receives each month.
For instance, nursing homes in New Jersey garnered a “B” grade in the Families for Better Care study. New Jersey nursing homes rank well, but less than 50 percent of facilities in the state give each patient the direct nursing care they need each day.
The majority of nursing homes across the country receive failing grades from Families for Better Care, have been cited for severe deficiencies, and were shown to provide little one-on-one patient care.
The National Center on Elder Abuse published a study which showed that 50 percent of nursing home staff admitted to neglecting a patient at least once in the past thirty days. There are many cases of willful neglect in nursing homes, but most often neglect manifests because nursing home staff is overworked and have more patients they can adequately care for or watch over. Some neglect such as failing to move a patient frequently may seem minor, but incidents of “minor” neglect can cause illness and lead to death.
In addition to neglect, inadequate staffing also makes it possible for abuse to occur. Most abusers are opportunists and will take advantage of busy staff and minimal oversight to harm an elderly or vulnerable patient. Abusers can easily harm a patient without having to worry about a staff member walking in on the abuse.
Seniors should not fear their safety when they have no other choice but to enter a long-term care facility. These facilities should be safe, free of neglect and abuse, and give a senior the care they need and deserve. If a facility should fail in these duties, a nursing home abuse attorney can assist a family and hold that facility responsible for harm to one of their charges.