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How to make sure that his relative is well treated in his nursing home?

How to make sure that his relative is well treated in his nursing home?

Abuse of the elderly is understood to mean, whether they live in nursing homes, in another type of structure for seniors or whether they are still at home, all forms of physical or psychological violence caused by a third party that they may suffer. . The World Health Organization (WHO) considered in 2019 that 3% of elderly people suffered from ill-treatment in Europe. A small number, certainly, but very worrying all the same. How to detect the signs of abuse of your relative who lives in Ehpad? How to act and report the fact that he is not being treated well?

What are the signs of elder abuse in nursing homes?

In accommodation for dependent elderly people (Ehpad), the mistreatment of residents can take many forms. Here are some of the signs that should alert you if you find that your relative is affected by one of them.

In general, there are different types of abuse that affect the elderly. It can be:

  • psychological abuse:devaluation of the person, insults, threats, humiliation, etc.;
  • physical abuse:blows, brutal treatment, unjustified restraints, etc.;
  • sexual abuse:sexual assault, rape, etc.;
  • financial and material mistreatment:extortion, theft, fraud, embezzlement of powers of attorney, etc.;
  • medical abuse:too much or too little medication, abuse of sedatives, untreated pain, deprivation of care, etc.;
  • civic mistreatment:abusive guardianship, restriction of contact with the outside world, etc.

More particularly for an elderly resident of a nursing home, or any other type of structure intended for seniors with a loss of autonomy, the passive behavior of the staff of these establishments is also considered as mistreatment if it results in harm dependent elderly people.

Thus, if you realize that your relative placed in nursing home is for example often abandoned alone by the staff in a corner of the establishment, that he does not receive the necessary care, or that he is deprived of food, you are facing a case of abuse.

Other signs, mentioned in particular by the association the Little Brothers of the Poor, whose main mission is to fight against the isolation of the elderly, can also raise suspicion of mistreatment and should alert you and push you to act. For example, if your relative in nursing home seems scared or suspicious, is "too" calm, has symptoms of depression, insomnia, loss of appetite, loss of interest, asks permission from a third party to answer to questions in your presence, or says that he is short of money or that he is owed some.

An nursing home must provide guarantees in terms of preventing the mistreatment of its residents

The mistreatment observed towards residents in certain residential establishments for dependent elderly people is generally not the fault of the staff themselves, but is the consequence of the dysfunctions, unfortunately often observed within these structures, in terms of organization. of the work or management of the management teams.

The recurring lack of staff in nursing homes can thus be the cause of mistreatment of residents simply because despite their desire to take care of the dependent elderly people for whom they are responsible, the agents do not at all the time to linger with each of them, in short to provide all the care necessary for their well-being.

The exhaustion of the staff caused by the lack of arms can also involuntarily lead to acts of violence or neglect that the elderly suffer the full brunt.

This is why it is often difficult for relatives to know if their relative is really well treated or if they are suffering from abuse.

However, you should know that the operation of nursing homes must comply with the law which requires organizing to prevent the risk of abuse and offering supportive support to their residents.

As a relative of a nursing home resident, you have the possibility through the social life council (CVS) to know exactly the accommodation and living conditions of your relative. This body, which brings together representatives of residents, families and staff of the establishment, has full power, in particular to make proposals with the aim of improving the daily lives of residents (quality of services, improvement of the living environment, etc.) and it must be consulted on important documents such as the establishment's operating regulations and the establishment plan. A good way for you to make sure that your parent is well treated in their Ehpad.

On the other hand, there is now a label (Humanitude®), a registered trademark, which certifies that the structures for the elderly that display it are committed to a care approach based on respect for the dignity of people, and therefore oppose abuse. This label can be an additional guarantee for you and the assurance that your parent is treated as they should be.

Finally, be aware that at the national level, since 2018 there has been a Commission for the fight against abuse and the promotion of well-treatment, a joint body of the High Council for the Family, Childhood and Age (HCFEA) and the National Consultative Committee for Persons with Disabilities (CNCPH), which has defined 3 main areas of work to better combat abuse in nursing homes, among others:developing a shared vocabulary to designate the phenomena of abuse; organize territorial coordination for the identification and treatment of risks and situations of mistreatment; share and promote citizen initiatives promoting good treatment so that collective awareness and vigilance are born.

How to report the suspected abuse of his relative in nursing home?

In any case, if you notice that your relative is being treated badly in their Ehpad, you must react. There are several ways you can report your parent's abuse.

As a first step, and if the case of mistreatment observed does not require urgent intervention, you must contact the hierarchical superior of the staff you suspect of mistreatment of your relative or the director of the nursing home and explain the facts to them. They are the ones who must and who can act to put an end to these acts.

On the other hand, you have at your disposal a national listening platform dedicated to the elderly and adult victims of abuse managed by the Federation of 3977 which you can reach by telephone by calling 3977. Listeners at the end of the line are there to advise you on the steps to take depending on the situation of your abused relative. Your report may also be forwarded to the competent local authorities in order to put an end to this situation of mistreatment.

For residents of nursing homes, if you suspect mistreatment of your parent, you have the possibility of sending your report to the regional health agency (ARS) and to the departmental council of the order of doctors on which the establishment depends. These organizations have a monitoring role. They are competent to request an inspection or conduct an investigation within the nursing home concerned. As indicated by the National Information Portal for the elderly and their relatives, inspections of these bodies "may give rise to administrative injunctions aimed at correcting the malfunctions observed. In the most serious situations, they may lead to temporary or permanent closures of structures".

If the abuse suffered by your relative in an nursing home endangers their person, you must act urgently. In this case, the Penal Code provides that these presumed or proven acts of mistreatment must be reported to the Public Prosecutor in the name of assistance to persons in danger. You can also contact the police or gendarmerie services.