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How can you get your loved one to talk about nursing home abuse?

Nursing home abuse and neglect is not new problem; such cases have been reported in Queens and throughout the rest of the U.S. for decades. Yet many still seem shocked when news of such abuse does come to light. Perhaps the perception of nursing home abuse not being as prevalent as it actually is may be because so many incidents go unreported. According to information shared by the National Center on Elder Abuse, there may be as many as 24 unknown cases of such abuse for every one that is reported.

Why wouldn’t your loved one tell you if he or she is experiencing abuse at the hands of nursing home staff members? In many cases, your family member or friend may be afraid of what his or her abuser may do if news of him or her reporting what is going were to come out. This illustrates why it is important that you initiate a dialogue if you suspect that such abuse may be occurring. Experts recommend employing these tactics:

  •          Share your concern about your loved one’s well-being and let him or her know that they can trust that you are here to protect him or her.
  •          Listen intently without interrupting. Wait until he or she finishes talking to ask clarifying questions.
  •          Express your belief in what he or she has said. If you are skeptical of any of his or her assertions, do not voice it. Verify those details on your own.

If he or she is still unwilling to talk, let him or her know that there are resources out there for him or her to utilize. Ultimately, he or she may be more open to sharing the details of abuse with someone he or she is not acquainted with.   

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