We’re spreading the word about women’s health & pharmaceuticals in honor of Women’s Health Week.
If you didn’t know already, women keep this world running. The only catch is women suffer some of the worst injustices — like a pharmaceutical world that neglects to perform clinical testing equally in both men and women. It’s called “Disproportionate Harm,” as in: Women suffer more unnecessary health complications due to pharmaceutical negligence than men.
It’s time to change that. We’ll start by speaking up and sharing this information with our friends. Enter: Nursing Home Abuse. Negligence in healthcare and how we care for those who are ill doesn’t stop with dangerous drugs or medical devices. Instead, it’s an entire system that may require some heavy lifting, oversight and individuals speaking up through lawsuits. Because you shouldn’t have to worry about your mother suffering from physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse or neglect while in the care of a nursing home.
This is the story of a mother and daughter.
It could not have been a bigger decision. Where to put mom. What to do with mom. After years of trying to make it work, years of watching mom as the stairs in her house became too hard to climb, as the daily tasks became too much on her own…
They thought they’d finally found the one — the right place, a new home where, well, it wasn’t home, but it was close enough, it could be a new, happy, safe home. Or so they thought.
Instead, a few months into the new nursing center, they started noticing bruises on their mother’s body. Trips or falls?, she wondered.
She could have never expected the unimaginable — that her mom, in this new home, this safe place that was supposed to be, not home, but close enough, a safe place to help her mom… she would never have imagined that her mom was suffering severe physical abuse in a nursing home.
Violence against women is not rare. Women suffer at the hands of violent men and violent cultures around the world, 24/7. In the United States, we have a serious epidemic of domestic violence and of violence and sexual abuse against women in other settings, especially in colleges.
But with more and more elderly individuals going to nursing homes each year, there may be a new sort of college in town, a new residential center where violence and sexual abuse may increase at a higher rate.
After talking to enough women whose mothers were hurt seriously, whether it was a sexual assault, emotional abuse or physical aggression, in nursing homes, we have to think there’s something going on here. That violence against women is not a problem that’s going to go away unless we speak up — and that it’s the case not just in places like universities around the country, but also in places where we’d least expect it. Like at “the one,” the nursing home that was supposed to be the new, and expensive, home that would help make your mother’s life more safe and easy.
It’s a shame. A total disgrace. And it may happen so much more than we’d ever imagine.
Just like addressing violence against women around the world and in the U.S., new systems need to be put in place to help women in the most vulnerable in places like nursing homes, where individuals may be at a higher risk of suffering from abuse and sexual assault.