Topic: About whistleblowing and whistleblowers.

Increasing notification of neglect and violence in nursing homes

Elderly hands held

In Norway, there has been a growing concern about neglect and violent incidents within the walls of nursing homes. These are complex issues that require immediate attention, where both employees, relatives and society play a role. Notification and reporting of neglect and violence in nursing homes is essential to ensure the residents' welfare and rights.

This is revealed in a report prepared by the Red Cross.

Neglect and violence in nursing homes can take many forms - from psychological to physical abuse, as well as lack of socialization and exercise. This undermines basic human rights and patients' dignity.

The report from the Red Cross suggests that half of the elderly in Norwegian nursing homes have experienced neglect or violence. These findings signal an alarming level of neglect that cannot be ignored.

Half have experienced forms of neglect

The report is based on interviews with 190 residents across the country, it emerges that half of the elderly in Norwegian nursing homes have experienced neglect or violence. These are worrying figures that we must take seriously.

Prominent among the forms of neglect are psychological violence and neglect. These can manifest in many ways, including lack of socialization, lack of exercise and psychological abuse. Psychological violence can involve anything from ignoring or belittling residents to outright harassment.

It is worth noting that this type of neglect is not always obvious. Sometimes there can be subtle actions such as systematic neglect of a resident's need for socialization or physical activity. This can be just as damaging as more direct forms of abuse.

Lack of socialization and exercise

Lack of socialization and exercise have been identified as two key areas where neglect often occurs. This can be due to a number of factors, including a lack of resources, insufficient staffing or a lack of training and competence among staff.

A lack of socialization can lead to loneliness and isolation for residents, which in turn can have a profound impact on their mental health. Lack of exercise can lead to physical health problems, including reduced mobility and increased risk of falls and injuries.

A third of the residents have experienced or witnessed psychological violence from employees, relatives or other residents

The report from the Red Cross also indicates that a third of the residents have experienced or witnessed psychological violence. This is not limited to actions by staff, but also includes violence perpetrated by relatives and other residents.

In order to combat this form of neglect, it is important to have effective warning systems in nursing homes. Residents should be encouraged to report such incidents and there should be clear guidelines on how such reports are handled.

Reporting neglect and violence in Norwegian nursing homes is a serious problem that requires our full attention. It is imperative that we shine a spotlight on this problem in order to take the necessary steps to combat it.

Positive experiences related to notification in nursing homes

Reporting can be a critical factor in dealing with neglect and violence in nursing homes. When staff and management take such inquiries seriously, many residents report positive experiences. These often involve feeling seen and understood by staff, which is essential for their wellbeing and safety.

It appears in the Red Cross report that:

  • Residents' confidence increases when they feel that their concerns are met with empathy and concrete actions.
  • Employees who get involved in the residents' lives and well-being create an atmosphere where reporting is seen as a natural and positive process.
  • The feeling of being seen is very important. It helps the residents feel taken seriously, which can reduce the occurrence of psychological violence and neglect.

It underlines the importance of positive warning mechanisms. Various forms of neglect and violence are often not reported without a system that promotes transparency and trust.

In order to strengthen these positive trends, according to the report, it is essential that nursing homes:

  1. Ensures adequate training of staff in warning systems.
  2. Maintains an open dialogue between residents and staff.
  3. Implements routines that look after both the physical and psychological needs of the residents.

These measures contribute to an environment where the reporting of neglect and violence is seen as an important step towards improvement, not just a symptom of problems.

The importance of security and trust for successful reporting

Safety and trust are fundamental elements for a successful notification system in a nursing home. Without these cornerstones, residents may hesitate to report neglect or violence, which can further lead to unacceptable conditions continuing unchallenged. We must recognize that safety and trust do not occur overnight, but require constant effort and commitment from all parties involved.

The importance of creating a trusting environment for notification in nursing homes

In order to promote a culture where notification is the norm, nursing homes must work proactively. It starts with ensuring that the staff has sufficient training in communication and conflict management, as well as having clear guidelines for how notifications are to be received and processed. A trusting environment is characterized by:

  • Openness: Staff should encourage dialogue and be available to residents' concerns.
  • Respect: All reports of neglect or violence must be taken seriously, and the reporting resident must be treated with respect.
  • Confidentiality: Residents' fear of retaliation can be reduced by guaranteeing that their identity is protected during the whistleblowing process.

Residents who feel safe and trust the staff are more likely to report adverse events. They know that their concerns are being heard and that action will be taken based on their feedback.

Residents who are well feel seen, taken seriously and experience good familiarity from the staff

When the residents experience a positive relationship with the staff, where they feel seen and understood, the chances that they will report problems also increase. This includes:

  • Individual attention: Each resident has unique needs and wishes that the staff must acknowledge.
  • Personal knowledge: Strong relationships are built when staff know residents well enough to notice changes in their behavior or well-being.

To support a system where notification works as intended, institutions can implement tools such as Manymore's notification portal. Such solutions contribute to a more transparent process by simplifying the notification procedures through a seamless, anonymous and secure platform.

Challenges with notification in Norwegian nursing homes

Notification of adverse events in nursing homes is a critical process for safeguarding the residents' safety and well-being. However, nursing homes face a number of challenges that can prevent effective notification.

Lack of notification of unwanted incidents related to time pressure and understaffing

Understaffing in Norwegian nursing homes has direct consequences for the residents' welfare. When employees are pressed by time and workload, this has several negative consequences:

  • Waiting time for help: Residents often have to wait longer than desired to receive assistance for basic needs such as going to the toilet, grooming and meals.
  • Failure to cover needs: Critical needs such as medication, nutrition and personal hygiene may be down-prioritised or overlooked.
  • Hidden needs: Unspoken or less visible needs, such as emotional support or pain relief, risk being completely ignored.

This time pressure creates an environment where employees may feel that they do not have the opportunity to report all unwanted incidents. These conditions lay the foundation for a vicious circle where a lack of notification leads to problems remaining unresolved, which in turn contributes to further pressure on personnel resources.