Elder abuse is a serious problem. When researching elder abuse in America, it is clear that that is especially true for frail and isolated seniors in nursing facilities. While it may never be completely eradicated, there are severe steps that nursing homes can take to rescue rates of abuse within their facilities.
Many nursing facilities have incredibly high rates of staff turnover. That means residents are routinely exposed to new caregivers. A careful applicant screening process can help eliminate candidates that might be more likely to commit an abusive act. It should include testing for illegal substances, a criminal record, and financial stability.
Not all cases of abuse are physical. They may be financial mismanagement, emotional abuse, or neglect. Staff training should highlight the different types of elder abuse and how to recognize signs of them. This is key to having a safe and healthy environment for seniors. After all, many of them are not able, whether physically or cognitively, to report their abusers. Sensitivity training can also encourage empathy among caregivers so they are better prepared to provide care in a compassionate manner.
Sadly, it’s not likely that all incidences of abuse will be prevented. Nursing facilities should always carry a comprehensive and complete insurance package designed to mitigate risks associated with elder abuse.