Nursing Home Healthcare is Failing - How do we protect our loved ones?

It's becoming increasingly obvious that Nursing Home healthcare is failing the most vulnerable sick and elderly of our society.   Gone are the days when families cared for their elderly relatives in their own homes.  

As always there are a number of reasons given why the majority of families aren't in a position to do this.

  • Demanding careers necessitating long working hours
  • Families living miles apart
  • Families stuck in housing already too cramped for them because of the lack of suitable affordable homes and
    Yes I'm afraid to say it,
  • Families that are not prepared to give up their time or take on the responsibility for caring for elderly parents because it's not convenient.

elderly abuse

Then there is the reality that when someone is too sick to be cared for at home families have to relucantly decide on putting their loved ones into Nursing Home Healthcare.

My own family were put in this position when my Mother became unable to continue living independently.  She had Alzheimers Dementia and we managed to keep her at home for some six years with different levels of care in her own home before we were forced to make the decision to move her into full time care.

We were fortunate in a way because she only lived for approximately three months after that.  We knew it was the last thing she wanted to happen and we didn't have to endure the anxiety of worrying whether she was being treated well or being abused.

Is CCTV the answer to elderly abuse?

Unfortunately there are more and more cases coming to light where families on becoming suspicious of the level of Nursing Home healthcare that is being delivered have installed their own CCTV cameras to get proof of what seems to be downright cruelty in many cases.

There have been many photographs and video clips released showing the callous way that some vulnerable patients are being treated.   As a result there are more and more calls for Nursing Homes to install CCTV Cameras in every patient's room so that care levels can be monitored day and night.

I have mixed feelings on this.  When I first heard of this I was horrified.   Imagine your Mother or Father in the final days of their life trying to hang on to the little dignity they may have left only for it all to be on camera. Would it contribute to promoting a culture of safety and quality, while respecting people's rights to privacy and dignity.  I'm not sure

At the other end of the spectrum what would you do if you thought your parent was being abused?  Finding they were covered in bruises and appearing to be frightened of the nursing staff that were supposed to be taking care of them. 

Simply complaining whether you use the official complaint procedure or opt for a quiet word with the person who is in charge doesn't seem to make a great deal of difference.

Proposals for improved Nursing Home Healthcare Standards

There's no doubt the level of care delivered  needs more rigorous regulation by the Care Quality Commission.

When you consider the amount of money these Nursing Homes are charging it shouldn't be too difficult to fund improved training and support to inspire the next generation of carers,rather than create a big brother culture where people are afraid to do this vital job.

Other proposals that are being discussed are more inspection teams by people who are qualified and experienced in the care industry.

It would also help if regular surveys and reviews were carried out on the user experience i.e. both the patients and their families where good levels of care are rewarded by some kind of rating system. Those Nursing Home healthcare facilites not meeting the required standard could be given a short time to improve or be closed.

The Care sector is a growing industry with an aging population and unfortunately there are too many unscrupulous owners of private nursing homes that are too greedy in the amount of profit they wish to make compared to the level of care they are prepared to give in return.

One things is for sure this problem is not going to go away until improved systems are put in place and this needs to be sooner rather than later.

What are your thoughts?

If you think CCTV is the way forward you can sign the petition by clicking on this link

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