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.


Anonymous said...

My Mom just passed away last night from ass't living neglect. We are a close family, my sis and I called my Mom every day, her husband visited every day. My sis spent a full 2 weeks there in Dec 2008. and yet, they neglected to take care of a pressure wound on her rear. We had no idea it was there and when asked, the nurses and nursing director claimed to have never seen it. That is impossible.
This breaks my heart. My Mom was a high functioning Alz patient. What about the ones that are unable to communicate and have no family?
We have contacted an atty and will persue this as far as we can. They need to be held responsible for my Mom's painful and untimely death.
Thank you for listening.

Anthony Cirillo said...

I noticed your blog and was interested in seeing if you would like to link to mine and vice versa as we both write about aging issues. .

My blog:

In short I am a health care expert that fell into a mission for seniors. That manifests in many ways but at the end of the day my goal is two fold – assure respect and dignity of our elders and advocate for people to learn about and make decisions about aging issues earlier in life.

Look forward to your reply.

kirbitz said...

Betty, great insight on this post. As the comment above shows, its definitely a serious matter to be given much attention. All nurses know that pressure ulcer is a sign of neglect.

I am replying to this post in my blog as this is my blog topic.

Will definitely be following this thread.

Thanks again!

- Nurse Jake
Nursing Negligence and Malpractices Blog

jenny said...

Such an important topic that is not talked about. I am not sure why but it seems like an 'untouchable' topic that no one wants to touch. I am so glad to see someone doing something about this and speaking up. Good work