How Are Nursing Homes Harming Seniors
Nursing homes provide a very important service to older Americans, ensuring that they receive the proper level of care that they require. Of course, as the need for these facilities grows, it can be difficult for owners to meet staffing needs, often having to sacrifice quality for quantity. Here are some of the things that can happen as a result.
Bed sores, or pressure sores, are one of the most common issues plaguing nursing homes. These lesions come as a result of senior citizens sitting or lying in one spot for too long. They might sound harmless enough, but many families have had to lawyer up to handle bed sores cases. While the bed sores themselves might not be especially harmful to the health of seniors, they could lead to trouble.
If bed sores are not properly cleaned and treated, they could become infected, introducing the risk for infection and sepsis, proving fatal in some cases. To prevent this from happening, it’s important that nursing home staff members ensure that the residents maintain a moderate level of activity. Additionally, for residents who struggled with mobility and are bed-ridden as a result, it’s important that they be moved regularly to prevent bed sores, and that if any bed sores do form, they are well looked after to avoid infection.
As some people age, they might find themselves struggling with basic tasks like eating. Because of this, nursing home residents are at a higher risk for choking and therefore require supervision from staff members during meals. Staff members should ensure that the food given to residents is appropriate. It should be easily chewable and finely cut, and residents should be sure to thoroughly chew their food before swallowing. If any residents appear to be choking, it’s important that the staff members are ready to jump in to help them. Their diligence and speedy reaction time could be the difference between life and death for a resident.
Slip And Fall Accidents
Slip and fall accidents are one of the most common issues in nursing homes. Many senior citizens struggle with mobility, and therefore they might need to rely on the help of a walker, a cane, or a wheelchair to get around. Of course, there are brief moments when seniors are not able to rely on these items, like when getting in and out of bed or using the bathroom. At these times, they might require the assistance of a staff member to keep them from falling. A fall for a senior citizen can be a very serious thing since they are at a much higher risk for fractures. Because of this, it’s important that staff members are always readily available to help residents who might need it.
While nursing homes are meant to be a place where senior citizens feel taken care of, they are a common place of abuse. The vast majority of senior citizens claim that they have either witnessed abuse or experienced it first-hand while in an assisted living facility. The tragic thing is that, because these facilities tend to be so short-staffed, the abuse often goes unnoticed for a very long time. That is why it’s so important for staff members to recognize the common signs and report any suspicions they might have.
To ensure that senior citizens receive the proper medications and dosages, all of their care is handled by nursing home staff. Unfortunately, due to factors like burnout and miscommunication, there are sometimes mixups and mistakes. This could result in residents being given the wrong dosage or the wrong medic entirely. This is harmful because not only are they not receiving the proper treatment for their conditions, but some medications have the potential to counteract each other and create more serious health problems. It’s important that nursing home facilities keep proper documentation on the frequency and dosages of all of their patient’s medications, that way, they avoid fatal mistakes.
Naturally, your cognitive abilities decline as you age. However, there are plenty of things that affect the rate at which this happens. To slow down cognitive decline, it’s important that you exercise your brain. What this means is that you need to provide it with regular engagement and stimulation. You can do this by writing, reading, solving puzzles, and socializing. In nursing homes, it’s important that staff members make an effort to keep residents mentally engaged. They should plan activities that provide mental stimulation, like bingo, arts and crafts tutorials, or a board game night. They should encourage residents to find hobbies that force them to exercise their minds, helping them to keep their wits longer.