Thursday, September 05, 2013

20% of Elder Abuse occurs in Nursing Homes

Social worker Chris Dubble spoke at a workshop about recognizing elder abuse, hosted by the Perry County Area Agency on Aging (AAA) on June 21.  Dubble addressed the topic of elder abuse, including physical abuse, confinement, intimidation verbal and mental abuse, neglect and sexual abuse. His presentation was peppered with dramatic examples he’d encountered in his social work, such as a woman who left a nursing home for a weekend with her family and was raped by her son.
“This happens out there more than we ever want to admit,” Dubble said. “While we don’t want to think about it, we need to be aware.”
Dubble shared long lists of warning signs to look out for with both the possible victim and the abuser. Some signs and symptoms for a victim were their own testimony, denial of a problem, confusion about medication, refusal to receive care from caregiver, poor hygiene or incontinence.
Signs and symptoms for an abuser included but weren’t limited to being exhausted, overwhelmed or physically incapable of providing care; resisting outside services; threatening or intimidating the older adult; destroying property; and stating that the older adult is incompetent, sick or crazy.
Similar to other abusive situations, Dubble said elder abuse usually involves the abuser isolating and controlling the victim. He noted that it can happen anywhere but keeping people isolated and dependent is very easy. “That’s why you don’t usually see [the victims].”

Most elder abuse victims are female, dependent on others for care and live at home, though Dubble pointed out that 20 percent of abuse occurs in nursing homes — a disproportionate amount given that only about 5 percent of older adults live in nursing homes.

Elder abuse is on the rise in Perry County |

by Bernard Hamill

Nursing Home Abuse

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