How to Prevent Phoenix Nursing Home Abuse
Stories about nursing home residents being mistreated or neglected are heart-wrenching to hear. Unfortunately, in every city where there are nursing homes, the potential for abuse exists. Recently in Florida, during the hurricane, several nursing home residents died and dozens more were hospitalized after being abandoned without air-conditioning, power, or water.
While Arizona doesn’t experience hurricanes, it does experience severe heat waves. Air-conditioning, power, and water are all necessities, especially for older people who are prone to heat-related illnesses and use machines to help them survive.
Because our elders are often more frail and need assistance with daily tasks, they are more vulnerable to abuse, and abuse can come in many forms. Some are victims of fraud or theft, others are emotionally abused, some sexually, some mentally, and others are neglected. While this is very sad to learn about, it’s something that we must stand together to stop.
Here’s How to Identify and Prevent Abuse:
Spend time with your family members and friends who live in nursing homes. Take them on an outing (if their health allows) away from the facility where they might feel more confident speaking about their care. Take a stroll around the Japanese Friendship Garden of Phoenix, or go shopping at Paradise Valley Mall where it’s air-conditioned.
Ask direct questions, like: What did you have to eat today? Are you receiving the assistance you need? Does everyone treat you with respect? Do the caretakers help you gently and respectfully? Has anyone asked you any financial questions?
Know who is coming to visit your loved one. Sometimes it’s the people closest to the victim who are the abusers. Check the log books or just ask at the front desk who has visited lately.
Hire an accountant to keep track of the finances. It’s a good idea to have a professional keep track on what is being spent and where money is going. With a third-party overseeing your loved one’s finances, there is less likelihood that a family member or close friend can take advantage.
Swimming is a great way for many older people to exercise, because there is less impact on their bodies. If their health allows, take them to a local pool such as Cortez Pool, Paradise Valley Pool or Washington Pool. This allows you to spend time with your loved one but also gives you the opportunity to notice any unusual and unexplained bruising, cuts or injuries on their body.
Interview their health aides. Make sure you know who has access to your loved one and what kind of care they will provide. Ask what hours they’ll be there and for how long. When you have a schedule, you’ll be able to better identify when and injury happens, if it does.
Show up unannounced. It’s a good idea to show up at different times and pop in for a surprise visit. Hopefully you’ll find everything as it should be and your loved one being cared for appropriately.
While the intention of this article is not to scare nursing home residents or their loved ones, it’s important to understand that nursing home abuse does exist and can happen in even the best facilities. The Husband and Wife Law Team is here to answer your questions and assess your case if you or a loved one is the victim of a nursing home injury.