Old age is a privilege; it is a gift that should be treasured by all. But it is a sad situation how some people have chosen to abuse these special people in our society. Unfortunately, these abuses are perpetrated by mostly medical professionals who are trained and paid to take care of these older people. This ugly trend continues to persist even with the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has put even the healthiest person in a tight health corner, talking less of an old, helpless grandpa/grandma in an older person’s facility. This is why we at BerberianAin LLP will continue to protect this group of people’s rights by compelling the authorities to live up to their responsibility.
What is Elder Abuse: How Nursing Homes Have Neglected their Duties
Elder Abuse is defined as a repeated or single act of pain or distress on an older person. This pain can be psychological, financial, emotional, verbal, physical, or sexual. It can also come in the form of negligence from the caregiver(s) – whether it is intentional or not. Perpetrators of this act can be anybody; they can be friends, family members, neighbors, nurses, or doctors assigned to taking care of the elder in question. But according to the record of reported cases of elder abuse, most of these abuses occur in older people’s facilities (home), and the majority of the perpetrators are the most medical and non-medical staff.
For a lot of people, when they hear the word “Abuse,” it automatically depicts physical violence. But on the contrary, Elder abuse cuts across mere physical Abuse, it also includes verbal or emotional abuse of the elder, this involves saying some derogatory words to elder, making some harmful pronouncements that derail the elder emotionally. A typical example of emotional Abuse includes threatening, swearing, yelling, blaming, humiliating, and scapegoating.
It is quite a pity how nursing homes have indulged in this unprofessional treatment, which has left some of these older people under their care, becoming victims of different degrees of Abuse. These abuses have been classified according to how often they occur; the commonest ones are stated as thus:
Ignoring the Patient’s Requests
This has more to do with turning a blind eye to what the patient needs. Most of the time, older people can mess up their beds; due to their weak, aging bones, they won’t be able to clean up these messes or even call for help when they need to. But when they manage to signal for help, these staff deliberately ignore their requests without any clear reason. This inhuman action leaves these victims stuck in their mess for days, a situation that can trigger some serious health issues.
Not Screening Visitors
Every nursing home’s roles state that every visitor to the hole must be screened to avoid letting in hooligans into the building. Unfortunately, this simple rule has long been neglected, which has seen many unknown persons coming to harm, rob, or force them to disclose certain sensitive information. We have come to notice that most of these nefarious visitors sometimes pride their way into the facility to perpetrate these acts.
Direct Abuse of Patients
This is the commonest of them all, there have been many cases their nurses have admired to have directly abused patients through various means like rape, a hit on the face, a push, cursing, e.t.c. This type of Abuse is mostly deliberate and caused by mostly emotionally unstable staff who often mete out their frustration on these vulnerable individuals.
There is also have the isolation type of Abuse, this is a situation whereby an elder is restricted from meeting either family or friends, receiving emails, phone calls, or any other kind of association from outside sources. Older people are like children when they fail to associate; they automatically become psychologically deranged. It is like this, the older they get, the more attention they need, which is why deriving them of such treatment is the almost the same thing as suffocating them.
How Nursing Homes Neglected their Responsibility Towards old People
Since the world, as we know it has changed courtesy of the COVID-19 pandemic, everybody is trying to play safer than ever. But this current situation has left these older people in old these facilities more vulnerable than they use to be. Medially when an older person contacts COVID-19, the chances of survival are very slim, thereby making them even more susceptible than before.
But on a very sad note, even in this condition, there have been some cases of professional negligence on the side of the staff of these facilities. There have been some recent findings on how these nursing homes have entirely abandoned their responsibility for these special people. The list is stated thus:
Total Disregard on Social Distancing
Maintaining social distancing has always remained one of the commonest ways of preventing coronavirus. Still, it is regrettable realizing that this simple safety measure is not observed in these places. We have seen situations where there are more than the recommended number of people meant to occupy a room.
None usage of Antiseptics
Medical professionals have advised the use of antiseptic soaps to bath and for washing the hands. But unfortunately, some (not all) of these older people’s facilities are too reluctant to comply with this common rule of replacing the soaps these people use to the recommended ones. This is rather very strange considering the low cost of these soaps.
Finally, people should try as much as they can to help these older people get the attention they need, especially now that the world is going through a tough time trying to see new ways to curb the spreading virus. But when you are unfortunate enough to have one of your own infected with the virus as a result of the carelessness from the older people’s home, always endeavor to involve the services of an attorney who are experts in the field of elderly Abuse. Stay safe.