Nursing homes provide supportive care to elderly patients dealing with health or physical challenges that can’t be taken care of in a home environment. While away from the watchful eye of loved ones, there is always the potential for abuse to occur with elderly individuals, whether by accidental or intentional means. Between the caregivers and the environment at the institution, there are several risk factors that may indicate the likelihood of elder abuse in nursing homes.
Risk Factors at the Institutional Level
The workload for the nurses, operators, and staff at a nursing home can be exhausting, with care being rushed or accidentally neglected. If a facility has a number of the following circumstances, it could lead to an increased risk of elder abuse.
- High turnover rates
- Poor administrative involvement
- Negligent hiring practices
- Distant or aloof staff
- Stress working environment
Risk Factors With Caregivers
Caregivers have a direct impact on the care of nursing home residents. The following conditions increase the possibility of an individual committing acts of abuse while at work:
- Poor training
- Mental or physical burnout
- Failure to pass a background check
- Holding to negative opinions or beliefs concerning elders
Nursing homes, while an opportunity to care for the aging population, also carry liabilities of elder abuse. Sound hiring practices, consistent oversight, and comprehensive insurance are ways to mitigate the risks of operating in this industry.