November is National Long-Term Care Awareness Month. Throughout this month, activists seek to spread the word about nursing home abuse and neglect so residents of long-term care facilities stay safe. This month also encourages adults to put a care plan in place for their future.
What Is National Long-Term Care Awareness Month?
Long-Term Care Awareness Month was started in November 2001 to raise awareness about planning for elder care before it’s needed. This month is recognized by Congress and multiple states in an effort to make information about long-term care more accessible.
Long-Term Care Awareness Month is also an opportunity to check in with loved ones who live in nursing homes and make sure the care plans in place are effective. Reaching out to those in long-term care facilities can have a big effect on their happiness and safety, as isolated seniors may be at a higher risk of elder abuse.
While many long-term care facilities take great care to ensure the safety of elders, some residents may experience abuse or neglect from staff. Identifying signs of nursing home abuse can save older adults from severe emotional or physical distress.
Placing a focus on long-term care in November can help to ensure that older adults are receiving the level of care that they need.
Why Are Older Adults at Risk of Nursing Home Abuse?
Nursing home residents may face neglect or abuse when their care needs are not met by staff. This can happen when long-term care facilities are understaffed, run by poor management, or are employing caregivers who have become abusive.
Instances of abuse have been documented in nursing homes across the country as seniors and their families speak out.
Cases of abuse and neglect are not normal or acceptable. National Long-Term Care Awareness Month reminds us how important it is to check on loved ones in nursing homes to keep them from harm.
Ways to Participate in Long-Term Care Awareness Month 2021
Check in With a Nursing Home Resident
If you have a loved one in a long-term care facility whom you haven’t seen in a while, consider scheduling a trip to visit them in November. This is a great way to honor nursing home residents during National Long-Term Care Awareness Month. The Veterans Day and Thanksgiving holidays provide excellent opportunities to visit.
Keep in mind that the coronavirus pandemic still poses a danger to nursing home residents and staff, so be sure to follow COVID-19 safety protocols during your visit. You can also make use of a video conferencing app like FaceTime or Zoom if you or your loved one feel unsafe meeting in person.
If you do notice signs of neglect or abuse during your in-person or virtual visit, make sure you notify the proper authorities. In an emergency, always call 911. You can also speak to a nursing home ombudsman or an elder abuse lawyer for help.
Have a Long-Term Care Plan in Place
It’s never too early to make preparations for your long-term care. In fact, starting before the age of 65 can mean more of an opportunity to choose a facility that best suits your needs.
You can prepare yourself for future care by setting aside money as you age and by getting long-term care insurance. You can also explore nursing homes near you now, so you have a better idea of your options later on.
Taking the time to make a plan can save you and your loved ones from unnecessary stress as you age. Long-Term Care Awareness Month is a chance for you to develop that plan.
Spread the Word
Get yourself and others involved during National Long-Term Care Awareness Month by sharing about the initiative on social media. You can tag any posts with #longtermcareawarenessmonth to show your support.
Doing research on Long-Term Care Awareness Month can also help you stay in the know and allow you to spread the word to others. If you have friends with loved ones in nursing homes, raising awareness can go a long way to reducing the risks of abuse and neglect.
If you or a loved one has personally been a victim of elder abuse, consider sharing your story. It may be painful to relive those memories, but they can help educate other families and keep older adults safe. Speaking out can also help you find resources to aid in your healing journey if the abuse recently occurred.
Get Involved in National Long-Term Care Awareness Month
National Long-Term Care Awareness Month serves as a reminder for all of us to reach out to loved ones in nursing homes. There are so many ways you can get involved to help reduce the risk residents face.
Even if you don’t have a loved one in long-term care now, spreading awareness of nursing home neglect and abuse can help you. You can better prepare for elder care as you age in the event that you find yourself seeking long-term care.
The Nursing Home Abuse Center team is proud to be a resource for victims who have faced abuse and neglect. We help families get justice and compensation for their suffering.
If you or a loved one has been a victim of nursing home abuse, get a free case review. We can listen to your story and help you determine what actions you may be able to take to hold abusers accountable.