Wednesday, January 06, 2010

ABC reports on elder abuse, especially with medications in nursing homes; also gives links about family elder abuse


Diane Sawyer has reported abuse of patients in nursing homes by employees, especially with over medication. The URL for the video is here. The specific examples occurred in California, and there were comments by California Attorney General Jerry Brown, formerly the governor. Nursing homes are giving anti-psychotic drugs to 1 of 4 patients instead of physical restraints, and 15000 patients die a year from misuse of the drugs. The report appeared on World News Tonight Tuesday Jan. 5.

The Elder Justice Coalition, A National Advocacy Voice Supporting Elder Justice in America”, link (not gov, as on the ABC site; the “blog” at the .org doesn’t seem to deal with eldercare). This site mentions S. 795, the Elder Justice Act, which was authored in the Senate by Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and co-authored by Senator Blanche Lincoln (D-AR). The full name of the bill is “A bill to amend the Social Security Act to enhance the social security of the Nation by ensuring adequate public-private infrastructure and to resolve to prevent, detect, treat, intervene in, and prosecute elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation, and for other purposes”. The link is here.

The National Committee for the Prevention of Elder Abuse (NCPEA) (link).

The National Adult Protective Services Organization (NAPSO), link here. These generally are subdepartments of County of City social services with some police authority.

The National Center on Elder Abuse. The material here seems to deal with the potential for abuse in the nome, for example this pdf on the strain on other family members (link)

One problem can be that some people see that maintaining a certain emotional distance or separation (more common with male caregivers other than husbands, sometimes called “lack of affection” in “the literature”) might be viewed by others as abusive, depending on the social and moral perspectives of others. It may be difficult for men especially to reconcile the cultural values of the individualistic competition in the work world with the need for emotion or at least empathy.

On Wednesday ABC demonstrated a device to be used at home that dispenses medications and keeps records of what is dispensed on a secure web site, for monitoring by caregivers, family or even APS organizations.

Update: Jan. 8

The St. Louis Post Dispatch reports "Nursing home company admits crime and agrees to pay $1.6 million", by Robert Patrick, concerning 11 Missouri and Illinois nursing homes bought by Texas-based Cathedral Rock in 2001, link here.

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