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How Prevalent is Abuse in Nursing Homes?

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By Earnest Art
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While it may be difficult to gauge the frequency of abuse in nursing homes, a recent survey of staff found that 36 percent reported seeing signs of physical abuse. This abuse included excessive use of physical restraints, pushing, pinching, slapping, and throwing things at residents. In addition, 10 percent reported that they personally experienced abuse. The survey also found that the majority of abusers were male.

The National Center on Aging found that 74 percent of nurses who reported incidents of physical abuse in nursing homes failed to report it. More shocking, however, was the fact that many of these nurses were unaware of the state’s laws governing elder abuse. Some nursing homes also fail to report suspected cases to state health authorities. As a result, there is a need to improve the quality of nursing homes and ensure that they follow their policies.

Federal law prohibits abuse in nursing homes. Although reports of abuse have increased over the years, no systematic study has been done on the incidence of abuse. And none of the studies were intended to produce estimates that apply to the entire country. However, there is still an abundance of disparate evidence that suggests abuse in nursing homes is a significant problem. It is crucial to investigate a nursing home’s abuse program carefully to ensure quality care for residents.

Relatives of elder abuse victims report suffering stress, anxiety, and other symptoms. In addition to the physical abuse, the relatives of abuse victims often feel mistreated and unsupported. If they report abuse, they may be retaliated by staff and suffer retaliation. Relatives can often be the link between nursing homes and residents. And they can help to make sure their loved ones receive the care they need.

Several factors contribute to the rate of abuse in nursing homes. Staff members are often understaffed, lacking proper training and experience. This can lead to burnout and a lack of response to emergency situations. Abuse can cause long-term and permanent physical damage to a resident. A victim of nursing home abuse can contact appropriate authorities to report the abuse. These steps can help prevent further abuse from occurring. These steps will help prevent the worst case scenario and increase the chances of preventing it.

Research on elder abuse in long-term care settings has been limited, with estimates of the prevalence varying across agencies and samples. Nonetheless, existing estimates of abuse and neglect in nursing homes are based on multiple studies, and differ in definitions, investigative protocols, and standards of proof. Defining the nature of abuse and neglect is difficult, and separating it from natural consequences of disabilities and chronic diseases requires more research. The prevalence of abuse and neglect is often a determinant of research funding, so this information is crucial.

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