According to a 1991 report given by the National Advisory Council on Aging, the number of injuries and deaths clearly indicates that abuse of nursing home residents is an alarmingly growing problem.
Elderly people in these institutions are handled in a rough manner. They are grossly vulnerable to sexual assault. Sometimes they are swindled out of their life-savings. Often, they suffer rampant negligence on the part of the staff.
An astonishing number of elderly residents are not even provided with enough food. This is quite a worrisome trend, considering the fact that seniors in Canada represent approximately 14% of the total population. (From 2011 census)
The council on Aging reports that by the year 2021, one Canadian in five will be over the age of 65. Currently, the number of seniors living in institutions operated by charitable organizations, municipalities, private individuals and corporations stands at approximately 250,000.
These homes must get licensed and approved by provincial and territorial health ministries. The requirements for licensing include training, quality of food, number of employees, and medical care.
Governments also approve unlicensed homes. Some of these homes provide exceedingly poor services. Their administration is similar to that of boarding houses, which are regulated by municipal code. Consequently, there is no regulation of services provided in such nursing homes.
With the rapidly aging population, a growing number of senior citizens suffer due to lack of adequate nursing home facilities. Further aggravating the problem is that the parties responsible for nursing home abuse and neglect are rarely held accountable.
More often than not, the cases of abuse remain hidden from the public eye. Many of these facilities are actually not safe for the elderly. Nursing home abuse manifests itself in various ways. The residents are victims of physical, verbal, psychological, emotional, sexual, and financial abuse. This leaves a devastating impact on not only the residents but also their families who entrust nursing homes to care for their loved ones.
Moreover, many of the elderly residents have no family to check in on them. Therefore, it is nearly impossible for them to cope with betrayal and frustration. They are isolated and alone.
What can be done?
We need more facilities with better checks and balances. If this problem is not resolved, then in a matter of a few short years, the number of seniors in need of nursing home care would far exceed that of good nursing homes.
Due to the possible overcrowding of these institutions, it would be even more difficult to control the abuse and neglect at the hands of concerned employees. Therefore, it is no exaggeration to say that a major chunk of the Canadian population would be leading a life of helplessness and agony.
To curb the escalating problem of nursing home abuse, it is very important to provide adequate training to the workers and have outside independent monitoring of facilities that are charged the care of the elderly. There are personal injury lawyers that can help get compensation for victims of this type of abuse.
In closing, if you suspect a friend or family member has faced abuse in a nursing home, then you must not hesitate to call the police and report your concerns to any and all authorities that have an interest in this type of crime keeping in mind that in a few short years it may be you who are at the receiving end of this type of abuse.
Authors Note: Why not “adopt” an elderly person that has no family nearby, it’s surprising what a little loving kindness can accomplish. I have personal experienced the rewards of doing this. It’s truly on of life’s “win win” situations.
For more information about what you can do visit http://www.ontarioinjured.com/