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Risk factors that put some seniors at increased risk of abuse

Making the decision to place an elderly loved one in the care of a nursing home or medical facility is not easy. Family members often spend a lot of time researching options and figuring how to pay for accommodations, and they want to feel confident that their loved ones are in a place where they are safe and treated with dignity.

Tragically, this doesn't always happen. Nursing home residents in facilities across Texas can be targets for abuse and neglect. And unfortunately, some are at a particularly high risk of being mistreated in a nursing home.

Risk factors

Below are some of the risk factors that put someone in more danger of being abused.

  • People with dementia
  • Seniors with poor physical health
  • People who have experienced traumatic events in the past, including abuse
  • Women
  • Patients without regular visitors or a support system
  • People with low economic resources

Red flags in a nursing home

The above risk factors coupled with substandard facilities can increase the chances that a loved one could be mistreated. As such, family members should take note of the following conditions in a nursing home, as they could be red flags that patients are not receiving quality care.

  • Understaffed
  • High rate of employee turnover
  • Unclean bathrooms, kitchens or common areas
  • High numbers of patients who are in restraints or seem scared or lethargic
  • Long wait times to speak with someone on the phone or in person
  • Poorly decorated, dim or otherwise depressing areas

If you have concerns about any of these risk factors or feel that your loved one is at risk of being abused or neglected in a nursing home, it is crucial to address the situation as soon as possible. This might mean finding a new facility, filing complaints or taking legal action against a facility or abusive caregiver.

Too often, elderly victims of abuse cannot or do not report mistreatment. As such, it is up to loved ones to protect them and act on their behalf.

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