Articles Tagged with elder neglect

jorge-lopez-284336-copy-300x200Many San Clemente residents with elderly loved ones may know that elder abuse often occurs in nursing homes and assisted-living facilities, and that it can happen at the home of a senior, as well (for a senior who still lives at home). Do we also need to be aware of elder neglect in hospitals and, in particular, in hospice settings? According to a recent report from California Healthline, older hospice patients can be victims of elder abuse and neglect, but many of us do not think about these risks as frequently. Neglect or abuse in hospice can be devastating. Although patients are facing terminal diagnoses, inattention to health needs by staff members can result in irreparable harm.

What do you need to know about elder abuse in hospice?

Elder Neglect Extends to Hospice

ydigmrc7xsc-christopher-300x225Has an elderly loved one mentioned a fall-related injury in a nursing home or assisted-living facility in San Diego County? Or, have you learned that an elderly parent suffered a fall while under the care of a nursing home staff? Falls often result from nursing home neglect, and it is important to ensure that our elderly loved ones are safe from preventable accidents and injuries. According to a recent article in the Chicago Tribune, fall-related injuries are becoming a more serious concern in California and throughout the country. One researcher in particular, Jon Pynoos, emphasizes that falls really are preventable. What should you know about falls among the elderly and learning about new methods of prevention?

Paying Greater Attention to Falls Among the Elderly

As the article notes, about “one-third of seniors over 65 fall each year, causing more than 2.5 million injuries treated in ERs, leading to 734,000 hospitalization and more than 30,200 deaths, with an annual price tag exceeding $40 billion.” Those rates will only increase as the U.S. population continues to age, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC estimates that deaths from falls among the elderly will rise to around 100,000 per year—a number that is four times the current rate of fall-related fatalities. Given these numbers, both government and private funding sources to study fall prevention have helped to make new research possible.

handsIn order to stop nursing home abuse or to remove California seniors from assisted-living facilities where they have suffered serious injuries as a result of elder neglect, we need to know that this kind of abuse is occurring. However, according to a recent report in California Healthline, the silence surrounding elder abuse is one of the biggest barriers to helping seniors who have been victims of nursing home abuse and neglect. The report emphasizes that, when it comes to elder abuse, “one of the hardest parts about prosecuting and curbing it is that the victims are often too embarrassed or scared to speak up.” The California Healthline report cites an article in the Modesto Bee that clarifies that problem of silence in relation to nursing home abuse in California.

Victims Do Not Always Want to Report Abuse

In Modesto, CA alone, the Modesto Police have investigated 30 cases of elder abuse this year. According to the article, there are “dozens more throughout Stanislaus County,” and those numbers do not even begin to take into account the number of cases that have been reported in San Diego County or in other parts of the state.

file0001370155977According to a pamphlet from the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA), one of the most prominent “red flags” of nursing home neglect is the presence of untreated pressure ulcers, which are also known as “bedsores.” According to a news release from the University of California, Berkeley, engineers at the university are working to develop a type of bandage technology that actually might make the presence of bedsores known to a patient and/or her family before they become visible to healthcare professionals.

While we want to take steps to prevent nursing home abuse from happening in the first place, being able to quickly spot the signs of neglect might be able to help California seniors in these facilities to avoid severe and even life-threatening injuries. What should we learn about the developing bandage technology?

“Smart Bandages” Can Detect Tissue Damage Caused by Bedsores

ScrollAccording to a recent article in the Contra Costa Times, California Governor Jerry Brown recently signed into law a bill that will impact licensing requirements for residential care facilities for the elderly (RCFEs). Specifically, the law will require applicants seeking a license to run an RCFE to “disclose prior ownership of any type of facility in any state.” With this information, elder justice advocates hope that California can prevent the opening of RCFEs by persons who have been linked to accusations of elder neglect or nursing home abuse around California and in other parts of the country.

History and Requirements of the New Law

The law began as AB 601, and it was written by Assemblywoman Susan Eggman. The law is aimed at establishing “specific suitability requirements for all licensing applications,” which involves the following:

ElderCare-1024x571When does a staffing shortage at a nursing home or assisted-living facility become grounds for an elder neglect case? According to a recent article in the San Francisco Examiner, staffing levels at skilled nursing facilities and other residences for elderly Californians “is an ever-expanding problem.” The need for support services continues to grow in the state, yet the demand doesn’t always fit the need.

To be sure, “individuals 85 years and older, the oldest of the old, are one of the fastest-growing segments of the population.” But, does California have the tools it needs to properly care for these elderly residents?

Rapidly Growing Elderly Population