Monday, March 20, 2023

How To Prevent Elder Abuse In Nursing Homes

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The Main Locations Of Elder Sexual Abuse

How to prevent elder abuse

Sadly, elder sexual abuse can occur wherever there are frail people, male or female, who are easy targets to predators.

Other than nursing homes, elder sexual abuse could occur in:

  • Adult Day Services: Usually provided on a part-time basis at adult day centers in communitiesAttendant Care: Also called Personal Assistance Services, these are in-home services geared toward helping people keep their independence
  • Continuing Care Retirement Communities: Housing communities that offer independent, assisted living, and nursing home residency all in one campus
  • Domiciliary Care Homes: Family-like facilities for up to 13 people that are certified by the Department of Aging
  • Home Health Care: In-home services provided by registered nurses and/or licensed health aides focused on providing skilled nursing care
  • Hospice Care: Services provided to the terminally ill and their family by an interdisciplinary team with a focus on peace and comfort

Findings of the elder abuse studies seem to indicate that the location of elder sexual abuse is not as important as the frailty of the victim.

Elderly Abuse In Nursing Homes

Elderly abuse commonly occurs within nursing homes and other long-term care facilities. Those responsible for caring for patients may intentionally or unintentionally harm their patients. Unfortunately, elder maltreatment may result in permanent disability, unnecessary trauma, and even death when the abuse occurs within the confines of an assisted living facility.

The World Health Organization indicates that elder abuse rates in facilities like nursing homes are exceptionally high, with two-thirds of staff members reporting that they committed elder abuse in the past year. Research suggests approximately one in six people over the age of 60 experience elder abuse at some point in their lives.

The WHOs analysis of elder abuse rates in general community settings versus institutional settings suggests a shocking discrepancy in the care individuals receive. For example, psychological abuse is reported by 11.6% of elderly citizens in community settings but jumps to a shocking 33.4% in institutional settings.

Statistics suggest that the worlds 60+ population will double to two billion by 2050. The WHO indicates that the risk of abuse for the elderly will increase dramatically as the number of elderly people increases. More seniors than ever will need advanced health care in nursing homes and long-term care facilities.

How Can Elder Abuse Be Prevented

If youre an older adult, you can stay safe by:

  • Taking care of your health
  • Seeking professional help for drug, alcohol, and depression concerns, and urging family members to get help for these problems
  • Attending support groups for spouses and learning about domestic violence services
  • Planning for your own future. With a power of attorney or a living will, you can address health care decisions now to avoid confusion and family problems later. Seek independent advice from someone you trust before signing any documents.
  • Staying active in the community and connected with friends and family. This will decrease social isolation, which has been connected to elder abuse.
  • Posting and opening your own mail
  • Not giving personal information over the phone
  • Using direct deposit for all checks
  • Having your own phone
  • Reviewing your will periodically
  • Knowing your rights. If you engage the services of a paid or family caregiver, you have the right to voice your preferences and concerns. If you live in a nursing home, call your Long Term Care Ombudsman. The ombudsman is your advocate and has the power to intervene.

Source: The National Council on Aging

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Elder Abuse: Signs To Look Out For

Chances are, you know someone who is a victim of elder abuse. The National Council on Aging indicates that it happens to one in 10 Americans 60 or older, and many cases go unreported. Pay close attention to these common signs.

Physical Abuse

  • No basic hygiene, not enough water/food, or clean clothing to wear
  • Alcohol bottles laying around the house

Why Does Elder Sexual Abuse Occur

Elderly Abuse In Nursing Homes Statistics Uk

Elder sexual abuse occurs because offenders target vulnerability. They are known to seek out victims who they can easily manipulate and overpower.

They also look for victims who are unlikely or unable to report the assault, especially those who would likely not be considered credible if they did report it.

Reasons elderly people are targeted for sexual violence include:

  • Believed to be less likely to report the abuse
  • Considered easy targets
  • Have physical or mental conditions that make them unable to report
  • Likely to have reduced physical strength to resist abuse
  • May have low self-esteem due to a decline in health
  • Tend to be isolated, with few family and friends checking on them

There are many risk factors that are common to the aging process that make older persons likely to be victims of sexual assault. Even for seniors who are physically able, there is a social stigma to aging that makes them more likely to remain silent if they become victims.

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Be The Best Advocate You Can Be While They Receive Care

7. Asset yourself with kind strength right from the start.

  • From the moment your loved one moves in, assert your role with fair, but assertive, strength,
  • Be aware of what their care plan is and get a second opinion from a medical professional before admittance occurs so you can be sure they are getting the type of care that is best for them.
  • Communicate what your loved one likes and dislikes in advance when a staff member does something exceptional, offer them praise and tell their supervisor.

6. Know the chain of command and policies.Educate yourself as to the policies for registering a concern or discussing an issue. When you have a concern, be proactive and dont wait. Speak up as soon as you believe there is an issue!

5. Keep the staff on their toes!Vary your visiting times so that your presence looking after your loved one will not be expected.

  • Visit them at different times of the day, days of the week, and on holidays.
  • Visit during mealtimes, during activities and at night as well.

4. Monitor their care.Stay connected to the doctors, staff and administrative personnel who are all involved in your loved ones care.

  • Understanding abuse in nursing homes can look like many things, familiarize yourself with signs to watch for.
  • Make observations for yourself when visiting.
  • What is their room like?
  • What is their hygiene like?
  • Has their mood changed?

Tips For Avoiding Scams

  • Never give out personal information over the telephone such as Social Security number, date of birth, credit card number, bank account number or Medicare number, if you have not initiated the call.
  • Do not give out personal information in person if you have not scheduled an appointment with the caller at your door. Many scam artists target the elderly at home by going door-to-door.
  • Only give out personal information over the telephone if you have initiated the call to make a purchase or a charitable donation
  • Never give in to pressure tactics from a caller. A legitimate business or charitable organization will not pressure you into making a purchase or giving a donation.
  • Remember, if you feel pressured or suspicious of the caller, you can always hang up!
  • Remember, you can request the caller to give you their telephone number and you can make the call yourself before giving out personal information. A tactic of the Drug Discount Card Scam is to give the elder person a telephone number that is disconnected.

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Preventing Nursing Home Sexual Abuse

The most important step in preventing nursing home sexual abuse is to believe survivors.

To many people, the thought of frail and defenseless seniors being sexually victimized is so sickening that they refuse to believe it happens. Perpetrators know this, and this is why elderly individuals become targets.

Other ways to prevent sexual elder abuse in nursing homes include:

  • Choosing nursing homes that are sufficiently staffed for loved ones
  • Ensuring that your loved ones nursing home checks/documents staff references
  • Staying vigilant remember that there is increased potential for abuse wherever there are dependent people
  • Verifying that the facility does not hire employees with criminal histories

Nursing homes should have supervisors who are strongly present on unit floors. They should foster a comfortable environment that encourages whistle-blowing by staff and residents alike.

It bears repeating: Believing that elder sexual abuse does happen is the biggest defense in preventing it.

How Can Elder Abuse In Nursing Homes Be Prevented

Webinar: Preventing elder financial abuse in nursing homes and assisted living communities

Nursing homes have a responsibility to ensure that their residents have a safe environment. Unfortunately, seniors abuse is more common than you may think.

However, if youre one of the adult children of an aged or retired person you want to take to an assisted living facility, with the right information, you can learn how to spot and stop any form of abuse to them in nursing homes.

  • Do your research: Do your research. Talk with other people whose older loved ones are being cared for at the facility as well as other families who have had similar experiences at the facility or other providers before you decide where to send your elderly person. This will help you make an informed decision about where they should spend their retirement years.
  • You should also visit the facility to directly ask questions and make sure they are aware of the medical needs and services you would like them to provide for your loved one.

  • Take time to get to know your loved ones caregivers. Introduce yourself to the caregivers as one of the adult children of the older adult and then ask them questions about their professional background, and what their normal activities at work are like. If you have any concerns, talk to the nursing home administrators immediately.
  • Ask questions and use your eyes: One of the most effective ways you can protect your loved one from elder abuse is simply by asking questions when you suspect something is wrong.
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    Choking Injuries In Nursing Homes

    Nursing homes help residents with activities of daily living such as eating, bathing, and taking care of themselves. Some elderly residents need special care, like mobility assistance for those that have trouble walking. For someone with swallowing issues, special diets and extra prep at meal times can help lessen the risk of choking. Old age-related changes, health conditions, and general weakness can lead to a person having swallowing difficulties. This is known as dysphagia, and it makes eating and drinking very difficult for those afflicted. Nursing homes and their staff should be aware of these common issues in residents and do what they can to prevent choking. Unfortunately, negligence and abuse can lead to choking injuries in nursing homes. If your loved one has been injured due to choking in a nursing home, contact the personal injury lawyers at the Curcio Law Offices today. Our experienced injury attorneys can help determine the true cause of the injury and hold the negligent parties accountable for their actions. For a free consultation in your case, call us today at .

    Is Choking A Sign Of Nursing Home Neglect Or Abuse

    Choking in and of itself may not be a sign of nursing home abuse and neglect. After all, accidents can happen to everyone. Choking injuries along with other things can be a warning flag for abuse. If your loved one is in a senior living facility, its important to check on them regularly and be aware of any signs that could indicate abuse or neglect. Some of these signs include:

    • Sudden changes in behavior or mood
    • Fearful around certain staff members
    • Poor personal hygiene
    • Certain food avoidance without reason
    • Multiple choking episodes
    • Failure to perform necessary first-aid on choking victim
    • High turnover rate in staffing
    • Understaffing in the facility

    At Curcio Law Offices, our attorneys are standing by and ready to help you with any questions you may have. If you suspect an elderly loved one is being abused but the health professionals are meant to care for them, dont hesitate to contact us today.

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    Ways You Can Prevent Elder Abuse In New York Nursing Homes

    Nobody wants to imagine that their older family members could be suffering from abuse, but elder abuse is unfortunately common. In the United States, the population of older adults is growing quicker than younger populations, and many older adults are vulnerable to violence perpetrated by a caregiver or someone they trust.

    Countless elder abuse cases go unreported, often because victims are too embarrassed or afraid to report it. They fear reporting it will make it worse or because reporting the abuse requires exposing someone they love or depend upon. If elder abuse commonly flies under the radar, are there ways you can prevent your older family member from suffering abuse in a New York nursing home?

    What Is Nursing Home Abuse

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    While elder abuse can occur in any institutional setting for older adults, such as assisted living, nursing homes are highly regulated with regard to elder abuse prevention, detection, and investigation.


    Nursing homes are highly regulated by state and federal government, and have specific laws intended to prevent and address elder abuse.


    Nursing homes who accept funds from Medicare or Medicaid must perform criminal background checks on their employees,


    Nursing homes who accept funds from Medicare or Medicaid must thoroughly investigate allegations of potential elder abuse and report them to state agencies, typically the State Department of Health that regulates nursing homes.

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    Elder Abuse And Neglect: In Search Of Solutions

    Elder abuse and neglect: In search of solutions.

    Agnes, 78 years old, lost her husband last year. Because of some physical limitations as a result of arthritis and declining cognitive abilities, Agnes moved in with her 55-year-old daughter, Emily. The situation is difficult for all of them. Sometimes Emily feels as if she’s at the end of her rope, caring for her mother, worrying about her college-age son and her husband, who is about to be forced into early retirement. Emily has caught herself calling her mother names and accusing her mother of ruining her life. Recently, she lost her temper and slapped her mother. In addition to feeling frightened and isolated, Agnes feels trapped and worthless.

    Like other forms of abuse, elder abuse is a complex problem, and it is easy for people to have misconceptions about it. Many people who hear “elder abuse and neglect” think about older people who live in nursing homes or older relatives who live all alone and never have visitors. But elder abuse is not just a problem of older people living on the margins of our everyday life. It is right in our midst:

    Elder abuse is the infliction of physical, emotional/psychological, sexual or financial harm on an older adult. Elder abuse can also take the form of intentional or unintentional neglect of an older adult by the caregiver.

    Physical abuse
    • Lack of medical aids

    If you suspect that an older person is being abused or neglected
    If you feel you are being abused or neglected

    Underreporting Of Abusive Situations

    The simplest reason elder abuse statistics are lacking in data is reporting often doesnt happen. I dont think people realize how much it occurs as I think it is highly underreported, says Stephanie Erickson, MSW and founder of Erickson Resource Group. As in many situations of abuse, the victim may be relying on the abuser for shelter, care, food or other resources. There could be threats of escalation if the victim reports, scaring the abuser into silence.

    When it comes to reports from outsiders rather than victims, there could be many causes.

    Family and other loved ones may not know what the causes and signs of abuse are. Like the victim, they may also be relying on the caregiver, as they feel they have no other options.

    One would hope elder abuse, if it occurs in care facilities, would be reportedbut this often doesnt happen, either. In fact, its believed as many as 97% of elder abuse cases go unreported when they occur in nursing homes. This could be due to understaffing, causing the abuse to go unnoticed. However, it could also be to protect the facility, other employees, or ones own employmentespecially in at-will states, few people in any field want to be viewed as troublemakers.

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    The First Step To Preventing Elder Abuse Is Recognizing It

    The physical, emotional, psychological, financial, and medical abuse of elders is a sad reality that causes pain and trauma for millions of older Americans.

    Elder abuse is sometimes hard for caregivers to spot, and the majority of cases are not reported. Elder abuse takes place in private homes and private and public care facilities. It is most often perpetrated by trusted figures, including family members, friends, and professional caregivers.

    Because victims are often reluctant to report elder abuse, it is difficult to determine exactly how many seniors are affected. But as many as 1 in 10 people over the age of 60 experience elder abuse, according to the Centers for Disease Control .

    All seniors deserve to live out their final years experiencing dignity and love, not pain and suffering. Thats why its so critical for caregivers and professionals to recognize the signs of abuse, report it, and end it.

    The Elder Justice Now Campaign has produced a 16minute video showing people whose lives have been disrupted by elder abuse. I dont think people in this country like to talk or think about it, the video begins.

    But we need to think and talk about elder abuse before we can stop it from happening.

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