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Are nursing homes as dangerous as they seem?

Nursing homes are supposed to be safe spaces for the elderly to receive the care they need as they age. Many people who reach the need for a nursing home are unable to perform some of their daily tasks on their own. They may have advanced health conditions that lead to confusion or weakness, memory difficulties or other problems that require around-the-clock care.

When you place a loved one in a nursing home, you want to know that the staff is experienced and trained well. You want to know that your loved one is safe. If you do your research, you can find a nursing home that provides the care you expect. However, there are many that do not reach the standard of care you would want your loved one to experience.

Did you know that around a third of all nursing homes expose residents to abuse of some form? Abuse may take the form of malnutrition and neglect, physical abuse, exploitation or sexual abuse, for example. Interestingly, around 90 percent of those who abuse the elderly are known to the residents. That means that the abusers may be other residents, nursing home staff members, family or friends.

Why is it important to ask about the staff's background?

Did you know that around 92 percent of all nursing homes have hired a convicted criminal? Nursing home employees aren't required to go through background checks. Ask about the employees in the home you're considering, so you know if the facility has stricter requirements.

These are some shocking statistics, but they may help you understand how to find the right nursing home.

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