During a round of sub-acute rehab in a facility my mother had previously had a positive experience in, things changed for the worse. She started out sharing a room with someone who was mentally unstable and physically threatening. As far as I know, nothing happened but Mommy was paralyzed and had aphasia, so even though she couldn’t tell me if something was wrong, I was uncomfortable enough to have her moved a new room.
Several times I arrived to find my mother lying in a pool of her own urine. The first time, the nurse’s aide was very helpful and apologetic. He sprung into action cleaning Mommy up and changing the bed sheets while I got her a set of clean clothes. The second time, I had arrived shortly before the shift change and the aide told me that it was their policy not to wake people to feed them or make sure they go to the bathroom. Part of me understood that, but another part of me recognized that this created a dangerously unhealthy situation for my mother. Then, there was the attitude I got when I asked the aide to clean my mother up and change her linens. She pretty much refused, so I countered with “get me a clean set of sheets, some towels and your supervisor.”
There were so many instances that ultimately led me to springing her and taking her to a new facility to finish her rehab. Nursing home abuse and neglect don’t just happen when someone is a permanent resident. It happens during long stints of rehab.
Read more about my experience as a caregiver in my memoir “In Stroke’s Shadow: My Caregiver Story.”
Learn what you need to about nursing home abuse from nursinghomeabuse.org. Education and action are all we have when it comes to protecting the people we love. Start by watching this video. It explains what abuse looks like, who is most likely to be abused, the resources available to you and the laws designed to protect your loved ones from abuse and neglect.