Published: December 17, 2014
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Many of us with elderly parents or loved ones are eventually faced with a difficult decision: whether or not to put a family member in a nursing home. Sometimes, it’s impossible for family members to care for a senior spouse or loved one because they don’t have the professional nursing skills that are needed.

Unless families can afford to hire a caretaker, long-term care facilities are the only option. Unfortunately, some of these facilities that promise to provide compassionate, professional care end up setting a stage for nursing home abuse and neglect, injuring the vulnerable seniors in their care. In some cases, these injuries – bedsores, sexual abuse, dehydration and over-medication – lead to death.

Sometimes the only help available is through a nursing facility. What are children and spouses supposed to do then? How do you hold facilities accountable? Some of them purposely go to great lengths to hide information from family members and don’t like to answer questions.

Carole Herman is the founder of the Foundation Aiding the Elderly (FATE). For over thirty years, she led the organization in a fight against the nursing home industry, crusading for better care and an end to abuse. This is a fight she continues today. She and FATE were instrumental in holding a number of California regulators accountable and the non-profit assists families across the county.

She joins me on this episode to talk about some of the signs of abuse and how to prevent it as well as the underbelly of the nursing home industry.

Disclaimer: The Foundation Aiding the Elderly (FATE) is not an attorney referral service.