Nursing homes can be dangerous places for the elderly
Sometimes families have no choice but to place their love ones in a nursing home. However, please do you homework and make sure the place you choose will really take care of your loved one.
It is never easy to make the decision to put a family member in a nursing home. Yes, we have all heard the stories of families putting their loved ones in a nursing home to get rid of them. In some cases that may be true but this is not the focus of this article. This article is about how hard it is for people to make that decision in the first place.
Hard decisions to make
My partner in life is facing that decision right now. His 90-year-old mother has dementia and is not capable of being alone anymore for even a short while. Several times she has had small house fires; forgetting she turned on the stove or leaving a smoldering pillow up against the radiator.
My partner knows at this point he cannot take care of her. He is sick himself and he still works. Getting a nurse for her is too expensive. Furthermore, she will not respond to strange people so even a sitter may be out of the question. He is looking at the various options and of course a nursing home is one of them. His biggest fear is that it will break her heart, but as for me as retired therapist I remind him, it would be for her own good.
Nevertheless, families have many issues to attend with; having their loved ones placed in a good home should be the least of their worries but apparently it is not.
Dangers occuring in nursing homes
The Canadian program W5 aired a documentary of a family where a severely handicapped brother was killed in a nursing facility by his roommate who suffered from mental illness.
Another case of abuse in nursing care happened to Pat Masters father’s, a 70-year-old man, suffering with aggressive dementia. He was assaulted by another patient in the facility. His assailant was a young physically fit male, not a frail elderly person.
Facilities argue that they are understaffed, but the question remains why are mentally ill and violent patients placed in the same facility as the elderly in the first place? This is just wrong.
If my partner hears about this he will not under any circumstances put his frail 88 pound mother in an institution of any kind.
All photos taken from the public domain
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