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.