To better understand the scope of the problem, it is crucial that society knows what is considered as elder abuse and why it is important to resolve this issue. Elder abuse refers to any intentional or negligent act by a caregiver or any other person that causes harm or a risk of harm to a vulnerable adult. There are many forms in which an elder can be abused, “Elder Abuse and Neglect” Journal of Psychosocial Nursing & Mental Health Services distinguishes between the five most common types of elder abuse as well as their effects and/or common signs and symptoms for each. These types of abuse include physical abuse,
There are many types of abuse that occur in nursing homes, even though many do not even realize what all could be classified as abuse. When hearing abuse what is probably most thought of is physical abuse. It was reported that for elderly women with
Choosing a long-term care facility can be very difficult because of incidents of abuse and/or neglect reported against care facilities can be overwhelming. For example in “Ending Elder Abuse: A family guide”, Diane Sandell lists many elder abuse incidents from her files such as: neglect of decubitis ulcers led to infection, sepsis, gangrene, and death. Facility failed to provide necessary diabetic diet; improper insulin administration, insulin overdose; dehydration and death. Resident left alone in chair in shower room fell, became paralyzed from neck down. Many reports of pinching, rough handling, slapping, yelling, threats (2000). It is believed that abuse is most likely to occur if the caregiver not only finds the work difficult but also (1) works full time, (2) cares for young children, (3) is poor, (4) feels little affection for the older person, (5) finds the elderly person very difficult, and (6) gets no support or help from others (Macionis, 2005). Although there is no excuse for abusing elderly Americans, it is still very prominent in today’s society. Diane Sandell explains in Ending Elder Abuse, that her 91 year old mother was beaten by a long-term care facility employee in the middle of the night for reasons unknown. It is stated that her mother died 6 weeks after the incident, unable to recover mentally from the abuse (2000).
Is it worth putting your loved ones in a nursing home facility? According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Each year, hundreds of thousands of adults over the age of 60 are abused, neglected, or financially exploited.” Family members of an elderly person might assume that because they are paying such a large amount of money for assistance and a room in the facility, that they’re getting the best treatment and care for their relative. Although one might believe their loved ones would be better off in a nursing home, they might be putting them at a greater risk of abuse due to understaffing, lack of training within the staff, neglect, nurse burnout, and low wages. 2,150,000 cases
As the healthcare system in this country has changed, so have traditional nursing homes. Families have the right to expect that their loved ones will be taken care of by professionals in a caring environment. Unfortunately, may people are being abused and neglected in nursing homes. It is very clear that abuse is a serious problem among nursing home patients, and something needs to be done to put a stop to it.
One thing every living organism has in common on this planet-- age. No one wants to age or face the fact that aging is inevitable. However, since it’s impossible to beat the never ending time clock that is life; everyone wants to be as comfortable as possible when age finally does catch up with them. When the majority of people think of comfortability in old age, they think of living in their own homes and being surrounded by their loved ones. Not many individuals want to be placed into a nursing home type facility because they can’t imagine themselves being comfortable that way. Nonetheless, even though being placed in a home does take away some of an elderly person’s independence, usually the independence lost is in activities that person can no longer do for themselves. Indeed, nursing homes do have their own set of scary stories behind them; life lost, independence lost, and privacy lost, yet many of those stories are outdated. Upon investigation, it would be easy for anyone to scare themselves out of a nursing facility due to the stories that are out there. Yet, upon even further research people would be able to see how far the United States has come in their development and evolution of nursing care facilities. The care of the elderly in the form of nursing homes has faced a tough evolution starting off with a harsh past, to what nursing homes are like now, and what people can expect for the future of these homes.
The horrors found inside these marketed homes for the elderly are unbelievable and essentially horrifying. Berens states, “[T]he Times uncovered scores of cases in which elderly victims were imprisoned in their rooms, roped into their beds at night, strapped to chairs during the day so they wouldn’t wander off, drugged into submission or denied medical treatment for weeks” (24). Not only are these elderly victims being tricked, scammed, and completely cheated into getting put in these homes, but they are also being abused. Senior citizens are supposed to be respected, not treated like something less than human; even animals do not deserve to be treated the way the elderly in care homes are most of the time. To go further, Berens informs that an organization called A Place for Mom, a company that assists in finding your elderly loved one a wonderful home, “rakes in tens of millions of dollars a year. The Times found that the company’s referral list contained an adult home with more violations than any other home, a place where a woman had died of an untreated pressure sore”
One way elder abuse or elder mistreatment can be defined is, “intentional actions that cause harm or create a serious risk of harm, whether or not intended, to a vulnerable elder by a caregiver or other person who stands in a trust relationship to the elder” (Bonnie & Wallace). There are seven main forms of elder abuse which include emotional, physical, psychological, sexual, financial, neglect, abandonment, and self-neglect (Cohen, Levin, Gagin & Friedman, 2007; Fulmer, 2008; Thompson & Priest, 2005). Even though only 6.2% of victims are abused in long-term care settings, my experience of witnessing neglect and abandonment are very serious (Teaster et al., 2006).
Placing your loved one in a nursing home can be a difficult decision, but sometimes it's necessary if you're unable to care for them at home. You want to trust the nursing facility gives the best of care, but sometimes that's not the case. It's a good practice to check your loved one frequently at various times of the day and keep watch for signs of neglect and abuse. Here are some of the signs that your loved one could be mistreated.
The issue of elder abuse and neglect is a significant health care issue, that need to be brought to the attention of society. Seniors who stay at home or in nursing homes are at more risk. Nurses should be aware of the signs and symptoms as well as resources in the community. By having a better understanding of these issues, nurses can recognize problems and help prevent the devastating effects of elderly abuse.
With medical and technological advances, the United State’s life expectancy continues to increase, leading to an improved number of elderly individuals. As a nursing student, who worked at a nursing home for three years in high school, I am quite familiar with elderly abuse, especially institutional abuse. Prior to this discussion post, I persisted more familiar with the types of elderly abuse, rather than the incidence rates within the United States. To clarify this discussion post, elderly abuse stands defined as, “an intentional act, or failure to act, by a caregiver or another person in a relationship involving an expectation of trust that causes or creates a risk of harm to an older adult” (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2016). The risk of harm to an older adult subsisted evident in an institutional setting, from my work experience. While I cannot disclose that the nurses physically, sexually, or financially abused the residents, I am aware of the neglect and emotional abuse the occurred in this setting. The abuse that occurs to elderly individuals stems for two triggers – caregiver stress and the vulnerability of the elder. According to the textbook, “Exhaustion and anger can reach a boiling point and can create intergenerational conflicts” (Olson, DeFrain, & Skogrand, 2014, p. 383). When caregivers acquire stress, they tend to take out their aggression on the elder, intentionally or unintentionally, as they remain overwhelmed with emotions. Personally, I
An estimated twenty-one percent of nursing home residents are neglected at least once in the past twelve months and more than twenty-four percent are abused at least once during their entire stay (Schub & Kornusky, 2014). In a study of 718 family members and others responsible for those ages 60 and older receiving long-term care in a nursing home, an assisted living facility or paid homecare, nearly 30 percent reported at least one instance of elder abuse in the past year. Neglect was the most common form and sexual abuse the least (Anetzberger, 2012).
The third study provided a synthesis of previous literature on elder abuse in long-term care facilities within the last decade (Castle et al., 2015). Therefore, this study covers the years 2003 through 2012 (Castle et al., 2015). The study included analysis of 88 articles pertaining to elder abuse. This review study searched MEDLINE and the CINAHL databases for information pertaining to elder abuse in nursing homes (Castle et al., 2015).
Nursing home abuse takes place when nursing assistants, caregivers or employees in a nursing facility intentionally does something that can cause harm to adults who are weak and vulnerable. There are many different forms of nursing home abuse. There are mainly sociological and cultural issues, and most cases of elder abuse are usually caused by several factors. Some of these factors are: quality of the nursing home and its staff, the features and personal issues of family and nursing assistants and caregivers are also fundamental in deciding the essential causes of the abuse. Therefore, social-cultural forces determine how elderly people are cared for and treated by others. By understanding all these different causes that
Elderly abuse in nursing homes in America is an uprising issue. Elders make up a large portion of our population and they deserve the equality. This issue is very important because eventually this could affect you personally, or a loved one in your family. I stand for better environments in these nursing homes and find it terrible that elders get treated so poorly. The reason the number of reports on elder abuse has gone up so rapidly in the past decade is because the number of elders has drastically risen. There is an increase in the number of elders not only because Americans are living longer than ever before, but also because the next generation of senior citizens is larger than ever before. It has been predicted