Abuse in Nursing Homes – Essay

Unit 3 IP Leigh Ratliff There are reports of abuse in nursing homes every year. There are many types of abuse reported as well. Even though there are many reports there are also many cases that are not reported. Elderly being abused puts them in an even more vulnerable position that what they were in. They now have to fear for their lives from the people who should be taking care of them. With reported cases and non-reported cases the abuser is rarely punished which makes the situation much worse.

Elder abuse in nursing homes has grown at an alarming rate and not being reported and I firmly believe that the punishment should be increased for these abusers such as licenses being pulled and state stepping in more to investigate. There are many different types of abuse towards elders. Types of abuse are neglect, physical abuse, sexual abuse, and many more. There are more than an estimated 2. 1 million reports of abuse each year as found in the studies of American Psychological Association, 2011. Elderly abuse is often times overlooked especially when there is bruising of the skin.

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The elderly are frail and the bruises are often mistaken for normal care on a frail individual which can happen. M. Lachs and K. Pillemer, also studied the same abuse issues and reported that many physicians were un-familiar with the mandatory reporting of abuse. In fact many physicians could not identify a case of elder abuse (1995-2006). Neglect is one of the most common reports of abuse in nursing homes. Neglect occurs when a caregiver fails to take care of a patient the way they should. In example, a caregiver does not change an elderly person every two hours.

Instead the elder is only changed every 4 hours. This can cause bed sores. Bed sores break down the skin and when urine and feces enter the wound the patient can become ill and even die. Another type of abuse is physical abuse. Physical abuse occurs when a care giver hits a patient. Physical abuse towards the elderly can have grave consequences as well. The elder are very fragile and when hit can easily cause broken bones and even death. It is very hard for the elderly to recover because they are so fragile. Many physicians do not recognize the signs of abuse.

The injuries are often mistaken for common issues with fragile elder patients. This means most cases of abuse are not reported and the abuser continues the acts. For cases that are reported the abuse usually is not punished in a meaningful way. Usually the abuser gets a slap on the wrist and in worst case scenario fired from the job just to go to another job and do the same thing. If the state would come in to the nursing homes more often or even a regular weekly basis to inspect. The state has a larger impact than expected and could put the situation under control.

The abusers should have their certifications and licenses revoked and should not be able to continue their work. Doing this would leave the patients with care givers who actually care and want to do the job correctly. There are many, many reports every year on abuse in nursing homes. The reports to not even come close to the actual number of cases since not all are reported. Abuse in nursing homes is a very serious matter and should be treated as such. The elderly deserve respect and great care. They have lived a long life and should not have to end it in tragedy.

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