It is undeniable that caring for old people is no sinecure. Many are often headstrong, exacting, cantankerous, and resentful of being told what to do, how and when. Not all are like that, certainly, but enough to make it a struggle to get through the day. This is the reason why there is a problem with nursing staff turnover in many but the most expensive nursing homes, and why quality of care is sometimes a problem.
Staff shortage and inexperience are two of the major reasons by which nursing home abuse or neglect may occur. There are simply not enough warm bodies to go around to properly care for the number of residents in a typical nursing home, coupled with the fact that the patience of a saint is required to deal with the foibles of the elderly. They present the same challenge as caring for infants, but they are much harder to control, which could result in physical injury or verbal excesses.
But just because they are difficult does not justify any kind of abuse. Healthcare professionals, including those in nursing homes, are held to a higher standard in their duty of care because of the nature of their profession and the amount of training they undergo before they acquire their licenses. The problems they encounter in a nursing home are to be expected, and those who cannot handle it should not be working in one.
The same duty applies in ensuring the care of residents. Proper hygiene, nutrition, medication, and physical assistance must be rendered at all times as many of these residents are incapable of looking after themselves. Nursing home neglect often occurs simply from poor time management or downright laziness on the part of the staff; there is no active malevolence or desire to do harm, but that does not alleviate the negligence. Many nursing home residents already have compromised health, so even a short period of neglect is enough to affect them adversely and permanently.
If you suspect that a family member is a victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, report it to the proper authorities at once to get an investigation started. At the same time, consult with a personal injury lawyer to protect the rights of your elderly loved one and to explore the legal options.