A 97-year-old patient in a Lincoln Park nursing home recently noticed over half a million dollars missing from her bank account. Five workers in the nursing home are now under investigation by the Chicago police department. The patient, who currently suffers from dementia, has resided in the nursing home for over eight years.
Patients with dementia are among those most vulnerable to neglect and abuse in nursing home facilities. Their cognitive declines often mean they do not remember or cannot verbalize any mistreatment they have experienced, and those who do make a report can be dismissed as being confused.
Nursing home facilities typically promise to provide a loving, attentive environment for the senior patients in their care. Unfortunately, too many fail to follow through with these promises. Instead, patients are subjected to neglect and abuse that threaten their safety and lives.
Nursing home facilities are supposed to be places where loved ones with health care needs can get the attention and treatment they need. We also expect them to be places where our loved ones are treated with dignity and compassion.
A "chemical restraint" is the polite term for the use of powerful psychoactive drugs on unruly patients in nursing homes. It's also a form of medical abuse.
Elder abuse is a shockingly common crime. It's probably not that surprising that seniors can fall victim easily since many of them are physically or mentally infirm. That makes them easy targets for everything from physical and sexual abuse to financial exploitation.
The future of multifamily housing developments are undoubtedly focused on senior citizens. After all, the number of baby boomers turning 65 continues to grow, and more elderly Americans are choosing to live independently. Nevertheless, the number of assisted living centers and nursing homes continues to grow as well. The proliferation of such facilities comes with an unintended difficulty: the lack of qualified staff.