Why do some caregivers abuse nursing home residents?

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Why do some caregivers abuse nursing home residents?

To protect the physical well-being of a loved one in New York who is not capable of self-care, you may have chosen to place him or her in a nursing home. Evaluating the facility carefully and being aware of signs of abuse are ongoing tasks, and the Direct Care Alliance provides a helpful explanation of risk factors that may lead caregivers to become negligent or abusive to their charges.

Most nursing home abuse has its origin in staffing issues, and particularly those that create emotional and physical strain on workers. The person who is caring for your loved one probably has no intention of causing an injury. Instead, the majority of incidents arise from stressful situations that lead to a harmful reaction.

Stress may develop because a staff member is not adequately trained to deal with residents who are belligerent, violent or who have other common symptoms of dementia. In fact, if the facility you have chosen receives federal funds, staff was probably not trained beyond the required 75 hours. In addition to a lack of training, often the direct care staff are supervised by nursing professionals who are not equipped to guide or correct them when challenging circumstances arise.

If the facility where your loved one resides is understaffed, the taxing work load may prevent workers from spending adequate time with residents. Studies have found that caregivers who are able to develop a good relationship with their patients are much less likely to neglect or abuse them. You may also find it helpful to get to know the direct care staff yourself in order to identify signs that may lead to abuse and report these to your long-term care ombudsman before someone is harmed.

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