What Are The Facts About Abuse In Nursing Homes

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Running head: What are the Facts about Neglect and Abuse in Nursing Homes?

What are the Facts about Neglect and Abuse in Nursing Homes?

Older Americans that live both in the community and within long term care institutions (nursing homes) are at risk for abuse and neglect. According to some studies; between 3 and 5 percent of elders are abused or neglected. This affects approximately 5 million Americans. (Levine, 2003) This paper will examine three articles that reflect differently on elder neglect and abuse. The first article estimates the prevalence and extent of elder abuse. The second article discusses signs and symptoms of elder abuse and what clinicians should be looking for and acting on when abuse is suspected. The third article focuses on a case study in which an elderly woman was abused and no proper investigation was completed within a nursing home setting. Analysis and conclusion of the research will be provided at the end of the paper.

Problem Identification

Identifying elder abuse within a long term care setting can be difficult. Nursing home residents often have poor safety awareness and a high rate of falls and related injuries. (Lachs & Boyer, 2002) It is sometimes hard to determine if a fracture or bruise comes from an unpreventable incident in a confused elder or if it came from abuse or negligence. According to Levine, “Elderly people with disabilities of all types are at increased risk for abuse from family members and paid caregivers.” (Levine, 2003) Nurses should be alert to possible elder abuse and neglect, early detection and prevention is the key to better outcomes for the elderly. Within the nursing home setting; suspected or actual abuse must be reported to the local state and federal agencies and an internal investigation must begin (Bachman, Reilly, & Kicklighter, 2010).

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