Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Listening the important skill

Life gets so busy and people have so much to do that listening is not always easy. I had the privilege of visiting with a senior this week that was quite delightful. I thought if someone could just take ten minutes a day to spend with this lady so much of her loneliness would be lifted. Unfortunately the activities in the building do not provide enough stimulation for this lady. The activity program in assisted living centers are often times at the bottom of the priority for budgets. When there is a robust activity program facilities find they have less complaints and happier residents. We visited for about an hour and a half, hopefully she will take the initiative to explore more of what the facility has to offer.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Complaint Resolution Unit

A reader wrote she had recently lost her mother and felt it was directly related to being neglected by the facility in which her mother was living. For the State of Washington there is the Complaint Resolution Unit (CRU) hotline number which is 1-800-562-6078. If you observe, or are treated in an abusive manner in a Nursing Home, Assisted Living Center or Adult Family Home call the hotline. This unit deals with abuse of vulnerable adults living in Nursing Homes, Assisted Living Centers, Boarding Homes, Alzheimer's units and Adult Family Homes.

For individuals living in their own home that experience abuse or observe someone being abused the number to call is the Adult Protective agency for your area. To report child abuse call the child protective services for your area.

I've added the CRU number underneath the title of the blog for easy reference.

My condolences to the lady and her family that recently loss their beloved mother. I lost my older brother to pneumonia January 31, 2009. This is a tough time for many.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Elder abuse

Elder abuse is an escalating problem. It is a crime that is punishable and must be reported in every state. Federal and state regulations require certain professionals and institutions to report suspected cases, and they may be held responsible for failure to report suspected cases.

Elder abuse refers to cruel, inhumane treatment and malicious acts such as physical, mental, psychological, or sexual injuries that are perpetrated against an adult, 18 or older, who lacks the physical or mental capacity to provide for their daily needs and is unable to remove self from dangerous situations. The term also refers to the infringement of an elder's constitutional rights to dignity, freedom of choice, life, and privacy. Neglect refers to the willful deprivation of a vulnerable adult of adequate food, clothing, essential medical or rehabilitation treatment, shelter or supervision. Exploitation refers to any action which involves the misuse of a vulnerable adult's property, funds or person.

If a resident reports being upset due to specific treatment by an employee the incident must be investigated. As facility administration, you have the responsibility to keep all residents safe from abuse. Chances are good if one resident risks speaking up there are others experiencing similar treatment, but are afraid to tell anyone. Verbal or veiled threats to residents by caregivers is a form of abuse and requires investigation and reporting.