15 Common Nursing Home Problems (And How To Avoid Them)

Common Nursing Home Problems for Seniors

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Going into a nursing home can be traumatizing. Putting a loved one into a nursing home is perhaps equally as bad. Whether you or your family member is in care, there are good and bad sides to it all. The key is to be prepared. Here are the 15 most common nursing home problems you need to be aware of – and how you can avoid them.

1 – Theft

Sadly, theft is not uncommon. It is much more likely to be another, probably senile, resident that is stealing from your loved one than it is a nurse or staff member. However, it is still unacceptable. Make sure you write your loved one’s name on every item they have.

2 – Bedsores Due to Poor Nursing Care

One common complaint from nursing homes is that patients suffer from bedsores. Pressure ulcers are easily preventable – but can require surgery to properly treat if left untended. Therefore, its essential to ensure that you or your loved one will get the nursing care needed to prevent this. While you can make legal claims for bedsore injuries, it’s better to avoid them in the first place. It is extremely painful and traumatic, according to nursing home bedsore lawyer, Jonathan Rosenfeld.

3 – Clothes Going Missing

This is covered by theft but is a much more common problem. Clothes go missing because, frankly, we all dress the same. Not only that, but a nurse doesn’t know who is wearing what from day-to-day. This has an easy fix. Write your loved ones, or your own, name on all your labels.

4 – Overcharging

This is unacceptable and, unfortunately, many elderly folks simply don’t have anyone fighting their corner for them. If you have access to your loved one’s finances, then take the reins by getting clear cost quotes and comparing numbers beforehand.

5 – Dehydration

Dehydration is literally a killer. Many elderly nursing home residents with dementia forget to drink. Solve this creatively… like one young inventor named Lewis Hornby.

6 – Malnutrition

Unfortunately, malnutrition is all-too-common in nursing homes. It might be that the business isn’t feeding the old dears properly, but it is m ore likely to be the result of wandering minds.

7 – Sub-Standard Care

Substandard care can be a combination of any of the things on this list. If you suspect your nursing home of this get out as soon as you can and find another.

8 – Staffing

Again, a number of problems could be avoided if care companies weren’t trying to scrimp in staff costs. Under-staffing in both residential nursing homes, and care homes, is not uncommon. In the UK, the estimate is that all car homes are roughly 20% understaffed at any given time.

9 – Hygiene

That lack of staff can often lead to poor hygiene of the residents. IT takes two staff members – maybe three – to bathe a resident.

10 – Confinement

A lack of freedom can lead to mental health problems. Mental health – or any health – problems in the latter stages of life can lead to a near-instant decline in wellbeing overall.

11 – Freedom

Just as you might find you are confined to one or two places; residents of nursing homes have no freedom anymore. Keep in mind this is why your relative protested against moving out of their own home in the first place – and get them out of there as often as you can!

12 – Nurses

Some nurses aren’t qualified nurses. Double-check before you agree to move in.

13 – Cleanliness

Next to hygiene of the resident is hygiene of the staff. If that staff has just worked 16 hours – how clean are they?

14 – Staff Turnover

Nursing homes have ridiculously high staff turnover rates. Look for one with lower rates before you move in.

15 – Neglect

Lastly – and by far the most common cause of nursing home problems – is neglect. No staff, lack of food, no turning to prevent bedsores. It all adds up to neglect. Don’t let it happen to your loved one. Nobody deserves that kind of end-of-life (lack of) care.