Making the decision to place a loved one in a nursing home can be very difficult for California families. The combination of the frailties of advanced age coupled with various physical and mental conditions render many elderly individuals beyond the care capabilities of the average family member. Additionally, without some form of long-term care insurance, costs can be daunting. However, another more serious concern looms large -- nursing home abuse.
As the baby boomer generation ages, the population of people living in nursing homes in California and across the country continues to grow. Various levels of care are required by nursing home residents, which means the facilities must employ caretakers of different training and skills. Elder abuse can come in many forms, but a high percentage of incidents occur when minimal, basic care is not provided to a resident.
According to a report from Human Rights Watch, nursing homes in California and across the country often use powerful drugs to control residents' behaviors. The practice of using antipsychotic drugs on nursing home residents with dementia continues despite rules prohibiting the use of drugs as "chemical restraints." This abusive practice has continued, despite research linking the use of antipsychotics in elderly people with dementia to a sharp escalation in fatalities.
Abuse of residents of nursing homes in California and the rest of the country is not uncommon. Neglect, one of the most frequently occurring types of abuse, takes place when residents are not afforded the proper level of care that they require. While the level of care will vary with each individual, the proper level of care often entails residents receiving basic hygiene services, help with eating and assistance with their mobility.
Most nursing homes in California and elsewhere offer quality care to their patients. However, there are issues that individuals may need to be aware of before choosing to live in one. For example, residents aren't always allowed to move freely or interact with others in the residence. Half of the residents in one study said that they were lonely or felt isolated from others.