Nursing home living in Georgia should be a positive experience for your loved one. Medical, physical and emotional support should be available to help him or her live the best life possible during the golden years. Unfortunately, for many, this is not what happens.
According to AARP, bullying in nursing homes is all too common. Experts estimate that 10 to 20 percent of residents suffer from this social harassment. Intimidation and aggression tactics may include:
- Spreading rumors about the victim
- Name calling
- Isolating the victim
- Bossing the victim around
- Arguing with the victim
- Causing physical harm
Although this may not seem like a direct result of nursing home staff neglect or abuse, in truth, the owner, administration and care teams do have a responsibility to identify and eliminate these behaviors. There should be policies at the facility you choose for your loved one that forbid these types of acting out, and staff should be trained to recognize when a resident is being mistreated.
How can staff stop the problem? Professionals recommend the following:
- Each resident who is able should sign a contract that defines the code of conduct expected.
- When new people move in, there should be a designated resident who helps them make the transition into the community.
- An offender should be notified in writing that the behavior is not acceptable, and further incidents may require penalties.
Because there is typically a wide range of cognitive abilities among seniors in these facilities, some behaviors may be the result of the onset of dementia, side effects of medication or pain, or other physical or mental problems. You may want to ask what the procedures are for cases such as these, as well. This information is provided to alert you to potential social issues in nursing homes, but it should not be interpreted as legal advice.