Whatever holidays you celebrate, the chances are high that they involve spending time with loved ones.
Keeping holiday traditions alive for your elderly family members can spark memories and give them a sense of belonging. For your loved ones in nursing homes, this time is especially important. These visits also serve as a way to check on the level of care they are receiving.
What to look for
Conversation with your family member can be a good place to start, however, if they are unable to accurately convey their experiences, there are other ways to identify potential neglect or abuse. The National Council on Aging reports that 1 in 10 Americans over the age of sixty have experienced elder abuse and that only 1 in 24 cases gets reported.
Keep an eye out for these possible indicators:
- Injuries or infections
- Weight loss
- Change in the emotional state
- Unclean rooms
What to do
If you notice any of these things on your holiday visit, contact the appropriate person within the nursing home and raise your concerns. How they respond and their approach to addressing the issues will give you more information about their level of care. Check in again for a follow-up visit to see if anything has changed.
Visits are not just for spending time with your family member, they can also serve as a way to help care for them. If you suspect your loved one is being neglected or abused, do not waste any time in addressing the problem.