Abuse victims can be any age. This is important to keep in mind as you move out of your home and into an assisted living care facility or help a family member move into a new home with the care and services they need to live a healthy life.

Elder abuse and neglect can run–rampant in nursing homes and cause lasting pain that’s both physical and emotional. Understanding the root cause of this abuse can help you protect yourself or your loved one. So, as you look into senior living center or nursing home, it’s important to note if the care might be lacking due to staffing shortfalls.

Here are two scenarios that can set the stage for elder abuse in nursing homes:

  1. Not enough staff: Maybe the long-term care center has amenities many aging seniors desire in a new home — a cozy apartment, convenient communal spaces, healthy meal options and more. But what if there isn’t enough staff on site to fulfill essential care services, like administering medication, helping transport residents to the cafeteria or giving regular baths? That is where neglect creeps in and serious consequences like malnourishment can develop or bacterial infections can form.
  2. Not enough training: Elder abuse also happens due to a lack of training. The staff members you’ve entrusted to care for your loved one might not be horrible people. However, if they haven’t received appropriate on-the-job training or don’t have any relevant experience, their attempts to care for your relative might lead to abuse. When staff training falls short, residents may receive incorrect medication dosages, have unnoticed bedsores or be a victim of taunting or bullying.

It’s crucial to not only note whether the nursing home staff has the capacity to take care of one more resident, but also do regular check-ins after moving into a care center. Employee turnover can shift the quality of care.

Following up

If you or an aging loved one has fallen victim to abuse, then an experienced elder law attorney can help you take legal recourse. Plus, reporting the abuse can help prevent the issue from spreading or continuing in the care facility.