Nursing homes have been around for centuries helping families with convenient services for the care of elderly relatives. However, they are getting more and more notorious for scandals involving various forms of abuse. In fact, the trend is so shockingly prevalent with about 10% of the elderly in the United States reporting that they suffered some form of nursing home abuse or neglect in 2017. And this is just the victims that came forward.
One solution to reduce the occurrence of abuse and neglect is for employers and nursing home owners to run thorough background checks before hiring healthcare staff. Here is a little more on the whys and whats of these checks.
Before we get too far, it is very important to first understand exactly what is considered nursing home neglect. This can be divided into five categories of atrocities as follows.
So far, it is evident that a lot can go wrong if the elderly are left in the care of the wrong people. Running a pre-employment background check on potential nursing home staff is truly one of the best ways to ensure that these incidences do not occur at all. Here are the 2 main benefits of making this investment.
Criminal history: A criminal background check is very important as it is often an indicator of a potential misdemeanor in the future. You want to avoid people with a history of sexual abuse of geriatrics, financial crimes, and aggravated assault.
Psychiatric healthy and history: Whoever is taking care of the clients should be of sound mind. They should also be emotionally stable. All this is easy to figure out with a simple background check.
Training history: Not just any old Joe from the street can take care of an elderly person. Training is important and this can be confirmed by investigating their educational background. To be safe, it is always best to work with registered and licensed professional caregivers.
Experience with geriatric patients: It is not enough to just be trained; experience also goes a long way. Someone who has never handled a geriatric client is more prone to mistakes like neglect especially if they trained with younger clients.
Sometimes horrible caregivers slip through the cracks. If this happens after you run a thorough background screening, the next step is to report the matter to the relevant authorities. Unfortunately, not many people do this. In fact, only 1 in 14 cases of elder abuse are reported to authorities in the United States.
When reporting nursing home neglect, it is critical to collect as much evidence as possible. This includes everything from photographs to witness statements and the patient’s claims. With the help of an attorney, photographs and witness statements make it a lot easier to build a solid case against the perpetrator of the abuse or neglect.
It goes without saying that background checks, pre-employment screening, and active supervision are must-does for nursing home management. The last thing anyone wants is a criminal or ill-intentioned person taking care of the generation responsible for some of today’s most incredible developments. Whether you get a free background check on the internet or you go all out on a professional private investigator, you will lose absolutely nothing by taking these cautious steps. So do it; for the sake of your clients and your business.
If you or a loved one has suffered abuse by a nursing home or a caregiver please call Raphaelson & Levine 212-268-3222 to discuss your legal options.