There comes a time in the lives of many adult children when their parents may no longer be able to care for themselves and decisions are made to entrust their daily living assistance to the staff of a nursing home.
Nursing homes throughout the nation are filled with dedicated workers, many of whom are certified medical professionals. With compassion, diligence and commitment, they tend to the needs of residents day in and day out, often handling strenuous situations or emergencies.
There’s another side to many nursing homes in America, however. A side that is much darker, much less loving, and is often dangerous to those who fall victim to it. Nursing home abuse is problematic in many areas. Families are advised to conduct thorough research before deciding on a permanent assisted living residence. Some say it helps to make impromptu visits to a particular facility, paying careful attention to the residents. Do they seem reasonably happy? Are they well-cared for in appearance? Is the atmosphere somewhat calm and peaceful, or is it chaotic? Also, the demeanors and dispositions of staff members (particularly in relation to how they interact with residents) can tell a lot about the quality of an assisted care home.
Imagine the shock and horror of learning that a dearly beloved and aging parent has been abused by the very people who have been trusted to provide his or her care. Graphic details of physical abuse, malnutrition, sexual abuse and overall neglect have been recounted time and again by victims and their families. In worst cases, some have been so severely abused that they succumbed to their injuries. Such tragedies wreak havoc and devastation in the lives of those left to mourn their loved ones. Adult children may suffer intense feelings of guilt, even though they did their best to choose a safe place for their parent.
Growing up in a world where we were taught to obey and respect our elders, especially those who had lived several generations before our own, it is difficult to fathom how professional caregivers (or anyone, for that matter) can take advantage of their positions by intentionally harming or neglecting someone who depends on them to survive.
After all, there may come a day when each of us is the one lying in the bed, entrusting our own safety and well-being to someone else. That time may arrive sooner than later, when our very survival depends on those who provide our daily living assistance. What type of care would we want to receive?
Judy Dudich resides in the beautiful woods of Pennsylvania, where 24 acres of land and a home-office provide the perfect setting for her children’s home-education and her own homesteading and business ventures. Life is full of blessings (and challenges!) for Judy, as a wife, mother of 10 and Grammy to six. She is a published author, whose book, “I Surrender/A Study Guide for Women” continues to encourage and support others in Christian family lifestyles throughout the world. Judy has also previously worked in the online speaking circuit. Her passion for permaculture, re-purposing, foraging and organic gardening fills her days with learning and adventure that she loves to share.