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How to protect loved ones from nursing home abuse

Staying in a nursing home may be the only option for elderly individuals who can no longer live on their own because of health issues. While there are many excellent skilled nursing facilities in Mississippi and throughout the country, some may neglect or abuse their residents. Those who have loved ones in long-term care facilities might want to know how to detect if their loved one has been neglected or abused and what they can do about it.

When patients are being mistreated, such as if employees yell at them or hit them, they might become angry, agitated or irritable. Dementia patients are commonly mistreated because they easily forget, or if they tell someone what happened, people might think they are just making up a story. However, when a loved one states that someone is verbally or physically abusing them, family members could speak to the employees about it or voice their concerns with the facility's administrator. In many cases, when an elderly nursing home resident speaks of abuse, it is true.

When choosing a nursing home for a loved one, family members might wish to tour several care facilities to see which one they like best. It can also be helpful if the patient or the patient's family looks online to find out if the facility has been fined or sanctioned by the Mississippi State Department of Health. Some websites provide ratings, feedback from consumers or negative news stories about nursing homes in the area.

The elderly, who are generally weak and defenseless, have a right to be treated respectfully by nursing facility caregivers. Family members who suspect their loved one is a victim of nursing home abuse may want to meet with an attorney to discuss their options.

FOX Business, "Signs of Nursing Home Neglect, Abuse", Casey Dowd, Oct. 17, 2016

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