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Safe Elder Care Solutions:

Stop Nursing Home Abuse Before It Starts

By Gregory Weldy

Caring for an aging parent isnít easy. It can be even harder when mom or dad lives in a nursing home. For many families, the ideal situation is to avoid the cost and potential hazards of nursing homes by keeping loved ones safe in the family home. However, sometimes an elderly family member requires more skilled medical care than you can provide, and, as a result, you need to look for elder care solutions in a nursing facility.

But anyone whoís seen the headlines knows that nursing home abuse is all too common. But youíre not helpless when it comes to using nursing home elder care solutions. Here are four ways to prevent abuse if youíre caring for an aging parent living in a nursing home.


Your ears should perk up each time your loved one complains about some aspect of their care. Even if Mom or Dad is...well... naturally cranky, that doesnít mean they donít have a reason to complain. Elder care solutions should include taking careful note of complaints. For example, is there a pattern to the complaints?

Be sure to listen to whatís going on around your senior parent, too. Is his or her roommate always critical of the night nurse? Are the nurses caring for an aging parent gossiping about the new aide more than theyíre discussing patient care? Do the employees speak to your loved one with respect? By tuning in to what goes on in the facility, you can tune in to problems before they become issues of abuse or neglect.


From odd bruises to unexplained weight loss, your own observations can tell you a lot about the care your parent is receiving. When using nursing homes as part of your familyís elder care solutions, look for these warning signs:

  • Untreated conditions, like bed sores

  • Unsafe conditions, like a missing fire extinguisher or an exit door thatís
    been propped open

  •  Mumbling or rocking behavior

  • Visible signs that your loved one is afraid of a caregiver

And, although it can be tough to even think about it, part of your caring for aging parent strategy should include being on the lookout for signs of sexual abuse. These warning signals can include unusual bruises or injuries, changes in your loved oneís behavior toward staff, or changes in the behavior of staff members caring for an aging parent.

Donít be lulled into a sense of security because the facility was spit-and-polished when you checked the facility out. As your loved one continues to live there, be sure those youíve hired to help in caring for an aging parent continue to be as respectful to your mom or dad as the day you first visited the home.


Part of your familyís elder care solutions might include reviewing your loved oneís chart. Make sure theyíre getting regular visits from qualified health care professionals as well as receiving the right medications at the right times. If you see something you donít understand, ask the person in charge of their care. 


If you think something is wrong, donít hesitate to ask for outside help in caring for an aging parent. For example, hire a registered nurse experienced in elder care solutions to review charts and make sure your loved oneís care is being handled properly. In addition, most counties have an agency on aging that offers services that help those caring for an aging parent. Finally, if you think your loved one is being abused, contact local law enforcement. 

Elder care solutions include ensuring your mom or dad can live a healthy life and receive the respect they deserve. Listen, look, review, and ask questions to protect one of the most important people in your life.


Gregory Weldy is an expert on guiding families through the challenges of elder care solutions.  He has written an amazing Free report, "Prevent nursing home nightmares: Caring for aging parents." To claim you FREE copy, visit:

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