February 13, 2012

Elder Abuse at Nursing Homes and at Home

Today, I watched an MSNBC "Caught on Camera" episode from 2010, that had a segment about elder abuse. 
Elder Abuse

A woman's 90 year old father, who had suffered two or three strokes was in a medical care facility and she felt that he was not being treated right. She felt that he was being neglected.

She stated that her father was a good man who had always been there for her when she was a kid and when she was growing up. She loved her father. 

Bedsores at a "Care" Facility
Luckily for her, she had the money to take her father into her home and hire a nurse to care for him during the day. She also had the money to install a video surveillance system in her home. 

The result was that she reviewed the tapes that were recorded during her absence and found that the nurse was slapping and punching the s*** out of the old man, repeatedly. This was disturbing to watch, because the old man was doing absolutely nothing but lying in bed, naked and helpless. 

It is tragic that this old man who worked all of his life and who was a proper father to his child, ended up being neglected at a medical care facility and then beaten half to death at home, at the hands of a so-called "care giver". 

All of us could end up in this situation - being sick, weak and helpless. 

If you have a parent, a spouse or partner, a relative or a friend in a care facility or under the care of others, please monitor not only their mental state but their physical state. Check for bruises and bedsores and other physical signs of neglect. 

Also check that they are not needlessly doped up to the eyeballs. Some patients in medical long-term care facilities are given sedatives to blank them out - they sit in a chair and drool, can't think straight and can't recognize anybody. They become a shell of a human being because of drugs. 

Others are given antipsychotic drugs they don’t need, sometimes with deadly consequences. These drugs include Seroquel, Risperdal, Haldol and other drugs approved to treat symptoms of schizophrenia and other mental disorders. But these drugs can cause dangerous side effects, including diabetes, abnormal limb and body movements, seizures, rapid heart beat and death. These drugs are being widely used simply to make nursing home residents easier for staff to manage.

God help us all.

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