The Prevalence of Elder Abuse in Nursing Homes

1773 Words8 Pages
Upon aging, life changes occur; leaving an individual with many decisions to make. Amidst one of the most challenging decisions is who will care for the person when they are no longer able to do so, and where they will live. In today's society, nursing homes are a favored choice regardless of the gender, sexual orientation or socioeconomic status with approximately 352, 300 seniors living in special-care facilities throughout Canada (Stat Can, 2013). To many, nursing homes are seen as an ideal living arrangement for their loved elders, unfortunately that is not the reality for all seniors in these nursing homes. What seniors are led to believe is their new haven, may in fact, be just the opposite. Elders in Ontario nursing homes are being…show more content…
Policy refers to a set amount of rules and guidelines on how to proceed with abuse-related incidents against older people. There is no specific Canadian law that addresses the mistreatment of elders which is why abuse is under-reported and often overlooked. A study in Manitoba discovered that many older respondents were against "mandatory reporting" because of fear and the high reliance on others that could potentially be the abusers whether it be family member or nurses (Novak & Campbell, p.331). Another reason was addressed in the Star; the issue of a majority of reports being released as "sanitized versions" meaning lack of detail thus making it near impossible for anybody to identify if assault occurred or not. Instead of raising awareness to the public, the sanitized versions do quite the opposite to save the reputation of the nursing homes which causes the abused seniors to feel inferior, and irrelevant. Instead of explaining that sexual assault had occurred in the home by an employee, the report includes phrases such as "failed to protect an identified resident from abuse” (McLean & Welsh, 2011) and “a staff member was found on an unassigned unit” (McLean & Welsh, 2011). The controversial ties of mandatory reporting exemplifies that there is no simple solution for elder mistreatment but creates a clear statement that a change is
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