Which Residents are Most at Risk of Becoming Victims of Nursing Home Abuse?
While nursing home abuse can happen just about anywhere and to any resident, a number of studies have revealed that there are a few particular factors that could make someone more at risk of becoming the victim of abuse. We’ve listed a few of these factors below, but it’s important to remember that the list is not exhaustive and that just because a person or a facility doesn’t satisfy any of the following criteria, does not mean that he or she is not the victim of abuse. If you believe that your own loved one is being abused at a long term care facility, please reach out to our Tulsa nursing home abuse lawyers to learn more about your legal options.
Nursing home residents of all ages, sexes, and ethnicities are at risk of becoming the victims of nursing home abuse. There are, however, certain characteristics that could mark a resident as more likely to be victimized. Functional dependency, for instance, puts residents more at risk of abuse, as does poor physical health, as bedridden patients are generally easier to overlook and are often too weak to report their abuse.
Cognitive impairment or dementia can also play a role in the degree of risk that a resident faces, with some abusive employees using a resident’s faulty memory to hide abusive behavior. In cases of financial fraud and abuse, a resident with cognitive impairment may not even realize that he or she is being taken advantage of. Infrequent visits by friends and family members could also open up a resident to abuse, as individuals with regular visitors are generally more visible, making it more likely that abuse will be noticed and reported.
Nursing Home Characteristics
Even if a resident doesn’t have any of the aforementioned risk factors, he or she could still be at risk of abuse if a nursing home has certain characteristics, such as:
- The absence of an abuse awareness and prevention policy;
- A lack of proper staff training;
- A lack of oversight on nights, weekends, and holidays;
- A high ratio of residents to staff;
- An outdated facility and inadequate building maintenance, such as insufficient heating and cooling systems;
- Stressful working conditions resulting from pressure to work overtime or to skip lunch breaks;
- A high turnover among nursing home employees, which could be evidence of a dysfunctional environment or overworked staff; and
- A history of violations or citations.
Those who have noticed any of these signs at their own relative’s nursing home, should remain extra vigilant for signs of abuse and neglect.
Call Our Legal Team Today to Schedule a Complimentary Consultation
If you believe that your loved one may have been the victim of nursing home abuse, have already notified the proper authorities, and have questions about your legal options going forward, please call 918-492-4433 to speak with one of the experienced Tulsa nursing home abuse and neglect lawyers. You can also schedule a consultation with us by completing one of our online forms.