Thousands of nursing home patients victims of unreported abuse or neglect

Auditors with the Health and Human Services inspector general's office finds nursing facilities have failed to report thousands of serious cases of potential neglect and abuse.

It's hard for adult children to take care of their parents, when they're still working, or taking care of their own children.

Senior Care Expert Jo Alch is a registered nurse and the Founder and Director of Nursing at Acappella in Home Care.

She saidthe options are assisted living, independent living and nursing homes.

"People in facilities and communities that get the very best care are the ones that have family involvement. And, unfortunately, 70 percent of nursing home residents have no family and no friends," said Alch.

She said adult children need to have an advocate for their parents.

"These situations of abuse and neglect happen because there's not a watchdog looking over the staff's shoulders," said Alch.

She said adult children need to do the same intensity of research on housing for their parents as they do when researching colleges for their kids.

Alch had to move her own mom out of a nursing home because of improper care.

Warning signs of neglect include:

  • bedsores
  • frequent falls
  • infections
  • withdrawn
  • behavior changes
  • interacting with fellow residents/isolation
  • personal hygiene--brushing teeth, looking disheveled

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