Nursing Home Abuse Term Paper

  • Length: 7 pages
  • Subject: Death and Dying  (general)
  • Type: Term Paper
  • Paper: #38804097

Excerpt from Term Paper :

Nursing Home Abuse

Irrespective of the fact that the sphere of elder ill-treatment prevention has traditionally been concentrated on ill-treatment in the domestic environment, growing interest is seen against the ill-treatment of residents in nursing homes. (Abuse in Nursing Homes) The origin of modern nursing home industry is traced during the post World War-II period in form of modern nursing home industry involving the construction and operation of profit making, medical type facilities. (Uhlenberg, 41) As per the estimates, about 17,000 nursing homes in United States are operating presently extending care for about 1.7 million handicapped and elderly persons. (Benjamin, 27) The elderly persons residing in nursing homes are more often perceived to be weak and vulnerable. They are totally relying on the care providers for availing food, housing and health needs and therefore they warrant the best possible care. However, the care provided in many of the nursing homes is disheartening to our elders. (Nursing Home Abuse: Why Does It Exist?)

The analysis made by both government and private initiatives reveal that nursing home residents nationwide are often succumbed to death or serious hurt in consequence to the neglect in the nursing homes. (Is your loved one a victim of nursing home abuse or nursing home neglect?) The families rely on the nursing homes to extend the elderly people the required care and attention. However, an estimate by the Congress says about 1600 U.S. nursing homes about one third is alleged for abusing. As per the review made in the state inspection records requested by Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif about 5283 nursing homes were alleged of infringements of the abuse guidelines. There were approximately 9000 cases of abuse infringements during the period January 1999 to January 2001. (Report: Nursing home abuse widespread)

More than one infringement has been observed in about 1327 homes, three or more infringement has been observed in about 305 nursing homes, five or more infringement of abuse have been noticed in about 192 nursing homes. (Nursing Home Abuse Increasing) The abuses pertaining to physical, sexual oral and all types of abuse are increasing. To illustrate a resident was killed when another resident with a past record of abusive behavior hold her up and crashed to the wall. In another case, an attendant hit the resident to break her nose. A case of rape by an attendant in the room of one resident was observed. Only about 40% infringements numbering about 3800 abuse violations were come to light after formal complaints from residents, families or community advocates. (Report: Nursing home abuse widespread)

The types of abuse occurring in nursing homes against the elders reflect the types prevalent in domestic environments including homicide, physical and sexual attack, neglect, inappropriate restraint, financial abuse, separation, oral threats and intimidation. Additionally, the nursing home abuses stems from traditional practices giving rise to chronic neglect, sub-standard care, overcrowding, authoritarian practices, and failure to safeguard the residents against inexperienced, distressed or greedy workers or against abusive residents or visitors. The delicate types of abuse have been innovated that refuse the residents the liberty to exert personal choice in respect of eating, getting up or going to bed; forcing the residents to involve in the activities and branding the bothersome individuals, giving rise to depersonalized dealings and isolation. Moreover, it has been noted that facilities engage in prejudiced practices like emphasizing activities that supports more capable residents. The intensity, magnitude and the nature of the abuse has been derived from a few scientific analyses, surveys on the quality of care and reports from government organizations that deal with the complaints against the nursing homes taking into consideration such organizations like Medicare and Medicaid Services, Medicaid Fraud Control Units, and the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program-LTCOP. (Abuse in Nursing Homes)

The risk of oral aggression and physical hostility by residents is a primary characteristics that the staff of the nursing home experiences. One investigator remarked that about 84% of nursing homes studied had been confirmed at or insulted and 70% had come across a form of physical assault including being pushed, take hold of, shoved, and pinched, hit, kicked or hit by objects. (Abuse in Nursing Homes) Most of the infringements are not been found out nor been complained against making the enforcement officials ignore of the fact. (Nursing Home Abuse Increasing) As the circumstances in many nursing homes appear to be exceptionally grave, the facts known to us are only a fraction of the reality. Actually, recording in death certificates about the death occurring due to malnutrition, dehydration, and physical restraints are very rare. Irrespective of the fact that about 20% of the people die in nursing homes the autopsy rate is only 0.8%. The analysis indicates that the use of restrictions lead to high rate of mortality and financial burden in comparison to no restraints.

The analysis made by Green-Burger on the populations of nursing home over the last decade reveals the fact of malnourishment or undernourishment in about 35% to 85% of the U.S. nursing home residents. (Nursing Homes, Dying from Neglect) Therefore the very concept of nursing home is considered not appropriate to refer the American institutions that provide shelter to the 1.7 million weak and aged persons. Firstly, none of the residents in nursing homes could possible regard such institutions as alternatives for the homes. It can not be considered as a home by the residents amidst sharing of the bedroom with an ailing stranger, served with the institutional food on a fixed schedule without having any control over the design and furnishing of the room and being cared for by different assistants. (Uhlenberg, 42)

Besides, the institutions give little specialized nursing care for their residents. The residents in nursing homes on an average get about nine minutes of nursing attention on an average by the registered nurses per day. (Uhlenberg, 42) This is so since the nursing homes, conventionally been the state of mission oriented religious groups is considered to be increasingly profiteering organizations. About seventy percent of the total nursing homes in U.S. presently are owned by the investors. Regrettably, most of the facilities granted in the institutions suffer from substandard and poor quality that leads to the case of abuse of the residents of nursing homes. (Michale, 76)

The impact of abuse are observed in discontinuing medication or changing drug dosages of elderly patients those are shifted from nursing homes and hospitals leading to the undesirable drug reactions. (Adverse Effects of Drug Changes When Patients Are Transferred Between Nursing Homes and Hospitals) Irrespective of the fact that a number of signs of abuse and neglect are evident with nursing home residents most of the times the sign of injury inflicted on them are considered quite delicate. Unique attention is required to observe any sudden or unusual change in the resident's condition. The resident is withdrawn, depressed or lethargic that is considered to be a sign of one's loved one being neglected or abused but unable to describe his or her injuries. Such reactions may symbolize that they are vulnerable to the physical, emotional or even sexual abuse. All the grievances by the residents and signs of abuse and neglect are required to be taken note of seriously. (Nursing Home Injuries)

Several analyses have been made on various reasons of neglect and nursing home abuse. Addressing the problems of abuse and neglect of the elderly people in dealing with the problem of abuse and neglect in nursing homes, it is quite evident that it is committed by the personnel of the nursing home that do not care about their elderly clients or who have poor work attitudes. However, this is not the only reason. More often it is committed by the strenuous and pressurized working conditions. (Keller, 68) The care providers are mostly overburdened and simultaneously are underpaid that frequently leads to the rude and abusive behavior to the susceptible residents that beg them for simple needs like supplying water at the bathroom. (About Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect) Thus insufficient personnel in the nursing homes are considered to be a major reason for the abuse. Several reports for consideration by the U.S. House of Representatives brought out that most of the nursing homes have no enough staff strength so as to adhere scrupulously the recommended norms of 3.45 nursing hours per patient daily.

The nursing home experts even urged for an average of 4 nursing hours per day per patient. The annual inspection reports also reveal that most of the nursing homes do not even cater to even the minimum legal staffing requirements. The residents of the nursing homes where there is inadequate staffs in are much more vulnerable to the develop bedsores and experience excessive weight loss than those in other nursing homes. This is due to the fact that enough staff is required to available to all the residents that cannot eat by themselves that receive assistance. The immobile elderly residents unless are repositioned frequently may develop bedsores. Moreover the problem of understaffing is again…

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