Elderly Abuse: Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect

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I. INTRODUCTION Of nursing home staff interviewed in 2004, nearly 40% admitted to committing at least one psychologically abusive act toward a resident and 10% admitted to physically abusing a resident in the preceding year.[1] Not only are nursing home residents at risk of being abused by their caretakers but they are also at risk of being restrained, which may lead to a form of abuse. With five percent of the elderly population, or one to two million instances of elder abuse occurring yearly there is no doubt that elder abuse deserves serious consideration.[2] Upon growing older there are many decisions to be made. Among one of the most difficult and perhaps most important decisions is where the elder person will live and how long-term care needs will be met when he/she is no longer capable of doing so independently due to the incapacity that accompanies many with old age. Nursing homes seem to be the popular choice for people no matter the race, gender, or socioeconomic status with 1.5 million Americans being admitted to them yearly.[3] Because nursing homes are in such a high demand and are not cheap, $77.9 billion was spent for nursing home care in the United States in 2010 alone, they are under criticism of many professions including the legal profession, which is in the process of establishing elder law as a defense to issues with in the elder community. Nursing homes have a duty to provide many things to the elderly including medical, social, pharmaceutical, and dietary services so that the individual may maintain the highest well-being possible.[4] Stated another way 'a nursing facility must care for its residents in such a manner and in such an environment as will promote maintenance or enhancement of the q... ... middle of paper ... ...dling abuse- does the person know this procedure and is the policy well accessible? 9) Talking to other resident or families of residents- are they happy? What do they think of they facility and employees? 10) Ask for a list of activities, including community activities, the residents are able to participate in- are they on grounds or off grounds? Will they accommodate the residents? ability? Though this checklist is not all encompassing it provides simple guidelines a person can easily look to in order to put his/her mind more at ease and feel secure in placing a loved one in a nursing home facility. Because there is no guarantee against elder abuse occurring in nursing homes it is important that the resident, where possible, and the family of the resident remain involved on a daily basis and demand the quality of care the elder person deserves.

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