When you put your parents into a residential care facility, you might worry about someone abusing them. A shocking report from The World Health Organisation (WHO) suggests that your fears are not unfounded.
Two out of every three staff surveyed admitted to abusing a resident under their care during the previous year. Here is how that breaks down:
- Psychological abuse: 32.5%
- Neglect: 12.0%
- Physical abuse: 9.3%
- Sexual abuse: 0.7%
The report did not have enough data concerning financial abuse, but 13.8% of residents reported it had happened to them.
Residents often fail to report abuse
There are two reasons to think that the actual rates of abuse are considerably higher. First, many abusers will not admit to what they do. Second, the number of cases reported by the residents themselves was similar to the numbers reported by staff. It is well known that victims of abuse are often too scared or ashamed to tell anyone.
How can you reduce the chance of abuse?
There are several actions you can take as concerned family members. Taking time to check the history and reviews of a particular residential facility is one. After that, it comes down to checking in on your parents as much as you can. If visiting in person is challenging, you can use technology to fill in the gaps. Assuming that abuse is always a possibility, rather than thinking it is unlikely, can help you stay alert for signs of problems.
If you think someone in a nursing home is abusing your parent, understanding the legal options available will be essential to stop the abuse and hold those responsible to account.