Elder Abuse: Neglect
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(Oct 25, 2012)
Nursing staff in a long term care facility are asked by Dr. Georgia Stevens to seriously consider and re-think their ideas on neglect. Under her guidance, nursing assistants come to realize that while there are basic guidelines of care which must be followed for all residents, they also need to define care for each resident individually. The first step is always getting to know the resident. Each resident has different needs and it is the nursing assistant’s responsibilities to be responsive to them. On-going communication, observation and reporting are essential.
Drawing on their years of experience, nursing assistants define neglect and why it is a form of abuse. They explain that not knowing a resident and understanding a resident’s needs means required care may not be provided. They also emphasize the importance of realizing a resident’s needs may change daily due to medical conditions and medications. Some specific situations discussed as top priorities are: not responding to a call bell; not knowing what assistance is needed; not providing assistance when needed; allowing a resident to remain soiled; allowing a resident to remain in pain; not reporting pain; not providing necessary ADL care; and not observing and reporting changes in a resident’s physical, mental or emotional status. Through this insightful commentary of nursing assistants, neglect is clearly presented as a significant cause of elder abuse. Actual patient vignettes further strengthen the impact of this program filmed at a long-term care facility.
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