Each year, thousands of paying clients in nursing home care are mistreated in different ways.
Cultural abuse is one form that can go undetected or unchallenged for a long time because other residents or staff may share those same bigoted beliefs as the perpetrator and so do nothing to stop it.
Staff members, residents, or both could carry out the abuse. Here are some ways that could manifest:
Refusing to respect food preferences
Your father is a strict Muslim, and eating pork is against his religious beliefs. If the person serving meals refuses to take account of this, placing bacon or pork sausages on his plate every time, it amounts to discrimination.
Obnoxious viewing choices
Some of the residents are clearly unhappy at having to share the communal spaces with your mother, who is of Native American descent. They demonstrate this by flicking through the TV channels to find old western movies and making inappropriate remarks so she can overhear.
The care home staff decide to hold a fancy dress party for residents. They make comments or wear costumes that disrespect your parent’s culture. Or they allow (and perhaps help) other residents to do so.
Your dad has worn his hair in dreadlocks all his life. Yet, when he enters the home, some staff members talk about how his hair needs a good wash and tell him they will cut his dreadlocks off if he does not behave.
Your parent has a right to be treated with respect. If a nursing home is not ensuring this happens, you may need to find out more about legal options to deal with elder abuse.