Siegal & RichardsonLLP

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Social isolation in nursing homes must be addressed swiftly

Many people think of nursing homes as communities that enable the residents to interact. What some might not realize is that there are often challenges that make this difficult. Nursing facilities should have protocol to help ensure that the residents have the socialization they need.

When residents don't have the proper social interactions, they can suffer from depression. Some may have a worsening mental health status. These issues can lead to very serious impacts on the resident's life.

Lack of priority in facilities

Unfortunately, not all nursing facilities make social interactions a priority. This is often caused by employees forgetting that they are there to care for the residents and help them. These employees might refuse to help residents with mobility issues get to areas where there are activities going on. When there are workers who don't want to do what they are being paid to do, the residents are the ones who are going to suffer from social isolation.

Most nursing facilities have plenty of activities to help keep the residents engaged and busy. Not only does this help to make the days more bearable, it also helps to keep the mind sharp and works to keep motor skills up to par. These activities can include craft classes, games, shows, movies and others that are similar.

Troubling sign

Social isolation can be a troubling sign in nursing homes. Sometimes, people who are abusing the residents might keep them away from other people because they are concerned about what the person might say. Unfortunately, unless the person's loved ones are watching vigilantly, they might not realize that this going on.

One thing to watch for during a visit with a person who is in a nursing facility is an employee who is hovering around the visit. This can be a sign that the person is trying to listen in on what the resident is saying. If you notice this during a visit, you should probably try to find a private location to spend time with your loved one.

Addressing the issue

When you notice that social isolation is an issue in a nursing home, take the time to learn what options you have. These will depend on the cause and what impacts it is having on the resident.

In some cases, you might have to take legal action. This is the case if there is abuse or neglect at the heart of the matter. Under no circumstances should a nursing home resident be forced to endure any types of atrocious behavior from the staff members or other residents.

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