Any Charges Reported on this blog are Merely Accusations and the Defendants are Presumed Innocent Unless and Until Proven Guilty, through the courts.

December 18, 2010

Daughter's Bail Lowered in Fatal Elder Abuse Case (USA)

By Kevin P. O'Connor
Dec 16, 2010

A Superior Court judge slashed the bail for Karen Cabral, making it possible for her to get out of jail before Christmas.

Judge Lloyd MacDonald set bail for Cabral at $2,500 cash, lowering the $20,000 cash bail set for Cabral in July, when she was arraigned on charges that she criminally neglected her 80-year-old mother.

SOURCE:     The Herald News


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December 17, 2010

Project Unites Teens and Seniors in Fight Against Elder Abuse (CANADA)

by: University of Guelph
Dec 16th, 2010

It’s not often that you see seniors and teenagers hanging out together, let alone teaming up to create a rap video. But a unique project involving a University of Guelph researcher has brought together these two groups to fight elder abuse.

Under the project, Ontario seniors and local high school students are creating awareness of ageism and elder abuse, said Gillian Joseph, a research associate with U of G’s Centre for Families, Work and Well-Being.

“It’s estimated that more than 10 percent of Canadian older adults have experienced abuse, and that number is expected to significantly increase as our population continues to age,” said Joseph.

Funded by the federal government’s New Horizons for Seniors program, the project involved 14 high school students and 14 seniors, ranging in age from 14 to 87. Meeting three times over the past year, they developed tool kits, including a rap video, to help teach high school students about respecting seniors.

“There are very few opportunities for seniors and high school students to interact,” said Joseph, who worked on the initiative with Prof. Paulette Padanyi, Marketing and Consumer Studies, and Sheli O’Connor from Trellis Mental Health and Development Services based in Fergus, Ont. “We found these two age groups really hit it off. It was like someone opened a door and now they could see from the other group’s perspective.”
Student and senior participants are currently presenting the tool kits to high school students across Wellington County and to teachers for inclusion in lesson plans.
“Developing the tool kits was an equal partnership where the seniors indicated the messages they wanted to convey and the teenagers determined the most effective way to communicate these messages to their age group,” said Joseph.
Participants created a Facebook page called the Intergenerational Project – STOP AGEISM; purple bracelets and T-shirts bearing the logo “Age Strong – Respecting Seniors is Respecting Yourself”; and a rap DVD.
Trey Russell, a student at St. James High School in Guelph, wrote and performed the rap about ageism and respecting seniors. Filmed on the University of Guelph campus, the video shows positive interactions between students and seniors, as well as examples of ageism stereotypes.
“Ageism is when we discriminate against someone because of their age rather than looking at their abilities and skills,” said Joseph. “This essentially excludes seniors from making a contribution, and this lack of respect can put them at risk for elder abuse.”
The video has logged more than 2,000 hits on YouTube since its launch in October.
This fall, it was shown at a conference of the Older Adult Centres’ Association of Ontario, at which Sophia Aggelonitis, Minister Responsible for Seniors, requested a copy to post on the government website. The video has also been posted on websites of the International Federation on Aging and the Canadian i2i Intergenerational Society.
“The project has been enthusiastically received. Plans are now under way to develop a proposal for a new project that will bring seniors and younger age groups together on the same theme in several cities across the province,” said Joseph.

For more information about the tool kit or the project, contact gjoseph@uoguelph.ca.

SOURCE:    The Canada Views

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Inspectors Still Have Issues With Care Home (IRELAND)

Inspectors still have issues with care home
December 16, 2010
A CLARE nursing home which was criticised in an inspectors’ report earlier this year has failed to put in place measures to protect residents from elder abuse, a new inspection has found.
In its report on Kilrush District Hospital in west Clare earlier this year, the Health Information and Quality Authority (Hiqa) said it was very concerned for the safety and welfare of residents restrained in 17 Buxton chairs.
In response to the first report, hospital board director John Hehir said the issue of the Buxton chairs was being addressed and new specialist chairs had been ordered. “We provide fantastic care to the elderly of west Clare and we intend to continue to do that. Some aspects of the Hiqa report are disappointing, but we are proud of our record and will continue to provide excellent care,” he said at the time.
However, in a follow-up inspection report just published, Hiqa said unacceptable practices have been found at the home, which is run by a voluntary organisation and has capacity for 53 patients.
The new report said the hospital addressed “some restraint issues” since the previous report. “However, restraint was still being used with residents without considering alternative interventions or use of appropriate assessments. Residents with MRSA were not supported in a consistent way, which increased the risk of cross infection.
“Inspectors observed staff practices and building arrangements that significantly compromised the privacy and dignity of residents . . . Inspectors observed staff providing personal care to a resident without using the screening curtains,” the report said.
In response yesterday, Mr Hehir said all the items in the second Hiqa report had been addressed and there were no outstanding issues.

SOURCE:   The Irish Times


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Care Provider Sentenced for Elder Abuse in Woman's Death (USA)

December 15, 2010
By Andy Furillo
A Folsom residential care provider who pleaded guilty to elder abuse in the death of an 82-year-old woman was sentenced today to a year in county jail.
Adriana Catuna, 49, will be allowed to request that she serve the time on home detention under the sentence handed down by Sacramento Superior Court Judge Gary E. Ransom.
The judge also placed Catuna on five years probation and scheduled a restitution hearing for Jan. 26.


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Care Facilities Operator Charged With Embezzlement (USA)

Care facilities operator charged with embezzlement
DECEMBER 15, 2010
The operator of three residential care facilities in Chula Vista and El Cajon has been arraigned on 26 felony counts after allegedly embezzling almost $665,000 from the bank accounts of two residents shortly before and after their deaths.
Maria Corazon Park, 54, is accused of financial elder abuse, forgery, money laundering and other charges. She was arraigned Dec. 9 in San Diego Superior Court and is being held on $500,000 bond at Las Colinas Detention Facility. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Wednesday.
Deputy Attorney General Carlos Chavarria, who is prosecuting the case, said Park endeared herself to Fred Figueroa, 91, and George Vickey, 89, to obtain access to their finances. The alleged frauds were uncovered by a suspicious Wells Fargo Bank employee, according to a state investigator’s report.

SOURCE:     SignOnSanDiego

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December 16, 2010

New Homecare Regulations Promised (IRELAND)

New homecare regulations promised
December 14, 2010
Statutory regulation to control standards in the private homecare services sector may be in place next year, Minister of State with responsibility for Older People Áine Brady said earlier today.
Ms Brady said the Department of Health is examining regulation for the sector and while she couldn’t put a time frame on a completion date, she expects it “sometime next year”.
She was speaking after details emerged last night of substandard and inappropriate levels of care in the sector.
The Health Service Executive has begun a review of homecare services supplied to 65,000 older people following a series of complaints and a television news report.
The executive said it was “taking seriously” allegations that a number of private providers were failing to meet basic standards in the provision of care.
An investigation by RTÉ’s Prime Time  showed several instances where it appeared that vulnerable elderly people had received inadequate care, and, in at least one case, had been mistreated by a member of staff.
The programme showed an elderly woman apparently being force fed by a care attendant working for Clontarf Home Care Services. The company said three members of staff had been suspended on full pay pending an investigation.
The company said it was a not-for-profit community-based health care provider and had been proving homecare help for 38 years.
Ms Brady said it was clear the behaviour and practices highlighted in the programme constituted “an unacceptable” breach of trust.
“I am particularly concerned at the effects that any breach of trust has on the care recipients and their families and loved ones,” she said.
Ms Brady said there were 150 private providers catering for around 6,000 elderly people in their homes across the country.
While the Health Information and Quality Authority regulates standards in private nursing homes, the home care sector remains unregulated and there is no legal obligation on the providers to vet staff.

SOURCE:     The Irish Times

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Homecare Services Spark Litany of Complaints to HSE (IRELAND)

Homecare services spark litany of complaints to HSE
December 14, 2010
By EITHNE DONNELLAN, Health Correspondent
FAMILIES USING a number of private homecare providers have been complaining to the HSE for more than three years about the quality of care provided to their loved ones, it has emerged.
The complaints have revolved around staff such as home helps and homecare assistants not turning up, turning up late, being verbally abusive to older people, giving the wrong medication, having very poor English and very poor skills to do their job.
Details of the complaints have been released under the Freedom of Information Act to Dermot Kirwan of the Friends of the Elderly organisation.
He said yesterday the letters of complaint released to him covered the greater Dublin area and were mainly about homecare services provided by private companies.
Thousands of families are given homecare packages every year under which they can buy home help and other services from private providers. There are now about 150 such providers in the State.
One complainant alleged an elderly lady was left soiled in her bed all weekend because the homecare assistant never turned up. When the family phoned the homecare company’s office there was nobody there.
Another said her doubly-incontinent mother “had three different carers in six days”, which meant there could be no continuity of care.
A third said a carer visited 15 times but didn’t give their relative a shower.
Mr Kirwan said the whole area needed to be regulated. “The threat of random checks would change things considerably,” he said.
“These people who are caring for the housebound or bed-bound elderly behind closed doors in the most personal and intimate way are unregistered, unregulated and unsupervised,” he said.
“It is a national disgrace, if I want to run a nursing home I need a licence, if I want to be a taxi driver I need a licence, yet I can start a homecare company without notifying anyone apart from the companies office . . . if something is not done soon, we will have another Leas Cross on our hands.”

SOURCE:   The Irish Times


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Elder Abuse Awareness

Elder Abuse Awareness
A task force in Ingham County is spreading awareness and investigating cases of elder abuse.
Dec 14, 2010
By Meaghan M. Norman

If a child is being neglected it's much easier for Protective Services to go into the home than it is with an adult.
"The adult world is very different from the child world," said Sgt. Traci Ruiz with the Lansing Police Department. "It's much easier to hide that crime because they'll cancel doctor's appointments, there's not much food in the home -- medications not being distributed."
Sgt. Ruiz is the co-chair of the Elder Death Review Task Force which monitors abuse in those 60 years old and up.
"By us coming together at the table, helps us save resources, time and money," said Sgt. Ruiz.

About 75 percent of all elder abuse cases take place in the home, behind closed doors. Nursing homes like the Senior Care and Rehab Center in Holt do what they can to promote awareness and has a checks and balances system in place to guard against abuse.
Wendy Briggs is the activity director at the Holt Rehab facility and says there is a board made up of interdepartmental members and even residents that investigate any claims of abuse. And awareness is the first step in reporting neglect, which Sgt. Ruiz says is not necessarily on the rise, but the more people know, the more cases the task force investigates.
"The first case we investigated resulted in a homicide."

That case was back in 2007 of 94 year old Margaret Robinson. Police say her caretaker of 16 years, Ira Gudith killed her Gudith was convicted of second degree murder and is currently serving a 15 year sentence. An autopsy is what alluded officials to her suspicious death.

"We did the team approach and we had the medical examiner's office on board where they actually did order autopsies and that's where we've been able to determine and find a lot of these crimes, is through the autopsies."
December is the four year anniversary of the task force. The committee meets once a month and is made up of representatives from law enforcement, the attorney general's office, health officials and adult protective services.


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Bupa Care Home Staff Tormented Dementia Victims (UK)

Bupa care home staff tormented dementia victims and recorded their 'despicable' acts on their mobile phones
15th December 2010

They were elderly, suffering from advanced Alzheimer’s Disease and needed the best possible care at their Bupa nursing home.
Instead the frail residents were bullied, assaulted and terrorised by care workers who recorded their ‘despicable’ behaviour on their mobile phones for fun.
Yesterday the ‘appalling’ video footage of a vulnerable 99-year-old woman and a man of 86 being mistreated by their three carers led to the carers being jailed.
The five minutes of blurred video, which was played at Bradford Crown Court, shows the carers laughing at the helpless pensioners, grabbing and poking them, taunting them and shoving phones into their face and mouth.
The elderly man, Kenneth Costigan, has an expression of ‘stark terror’ on his face, and is shown ‘cowering’ and burying his head in his hands in ‘utter despair’

Edith Askham, who died later aged 100, is shown being bullied and treated roughly as she sits helplessly on the floor pleading ‘help me…I am frightened’.
Recorder Richard Mansell, QC, was clearly outraged by the defendants’ actions, which he described as ‘inhuman and degrading’.
The judge said supervisor Paul Poole, 26, and assistant care workers Jolene Hullah, 21, and Tanzeela Safdar, 23, had committed a ‘gross breach of trust’.
Earlier, when it was suggested that Hullah, who was 19 at the time, had not received adequate training, the judge was barely able to conceal his fury commenting: ‘You don’t need training in ordinary human decency.

The judge made a point of stressing that the care home owners and management were in no way to blame for what happened.

SOURCE:     The Daily Mail UK


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December 13, 2010

Human Cost of Threatened Care Home Closures (WALES)

Human cost of threatened care home closures
by Sion Morgan, Wales On Sunday

Here, as the High Court prepares to stand in judgement this week, Sion Morgan explores the human cost of the threatened closure of care homes...
Vulnerable residents at Pencoed care home rejoiced in a song and dance on Armistice Day.

Forgetting their age and physical ailments, the frail grandmums and granddads donned military uniforms and clothing from their youth to remember The Fallen.
Their faces told the story of a group enjoying a new lease of life in familiar and comfortable surroundings.
And yet, unknown to these war heroes, community pillars and beloved elders, men in suits are working in council offices and courtrooms to decide on their future.
More than 80 elderly residents face losing their care because four independent homes in Pembrokeshire, including Pencoed, are under threat of closure.
The homes’ owners have won the right to a High Court judicial review to investigate their claim that the county council is “chronically under paying” fees for the service.
The residents’ families have now spoken out in a desperate bid to have their elderly loved ones’ fears voiced.

SOURCE:        WalesOnline


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Nursing Home Inspection Data Cryptic, Hard to Find (USA)

DECEMBER 12, 2010

In Nevada, it's easier to find out about complaints against a home improvement contractor than it is to look up complaints about nursing homes.
The state's Aging and Disability Services Division opened 661 nursing home cases in the fiscal year that ended in September, with a total of 1,173 complaints investigated within those cases. Complaints regarding allegations of elder abuse are referred to the Elder Protective Service program.
But those complaints, except for the aggregate numbers, aren't public record. Last week, the Aging and Disability Services Division was unable to provide information about the disposition of individual nursing home-related complaints to the Reno Gazette-Journal by press time.

"Hospitals, nursing homes and all health care facilities need to be accountable to the public they serve."


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Seniors' Groups Are Calling for a National DOB-IN Line (AUSTRALIA)

SENIORS' groups are calling for a national dob-in line.
Their call comes after a string of high-profile manslaughter prosecutions of carers accused of killing their bed-ridden mothers.
Queensland authorities have laid charges against at least five in recent months, all accused of neglecting elderly women in their care.
In one case, a Brisbane woman was handed a five-year sentence for killing her mother, who died with maggot-ridden bedsores that penetrated deep into her muscle and bone.
Council of the Ageing chief executive Ian Yates yesterday called for a national approach to deal with the problem of "elder abuse", which he said was likely to continue with the ageing population.
"One of the problems is that when people suspect elder abuse, they don't know who to call," said Mr Yates. "What we need is a national 1-800 number."
Lillian Jeter, executive director of the Elder Abuse Prevention Association, called for mandatory reporting legislation, which would compel carers and health professionals to report any suspected abuse.
"But the first step has to be 1-800 lines that people can call if they see something," she said.
Mandatory reporting currently exists only in residential care, as a result of revelations in 2006 that elderly residents of a Victorian aged care home had been sexually abused.
National Seniors chief executive Michael O'Neill said every death was a tragedy but questioned the practicality of increasing oversight of carers.
"People often underestimate the demand placed on carers and the stress levels they have to deal with, particularly if they're caring for someone with a significant illness," Mr O'Neill said.

SOURCE:     The Australian


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December 11, 2010

Human Rights Day 2010

Human Rights Day 2010: Reflections on a great year for older people's rights
By Jennifer Williams
10th December 2010

Today is Human Rights Day; the theme for this year is human rights defenders who work to end discrimination.
Being part of HelpAge International and working on our Age Demands Action campaign, marking the importance of those defending human rights seems particularly significant.
And this year perhaps even more than others. 
As an organisation we've achieved so much, as have the older people around the world we work with. And clearly Human Rights Day is the best day to do it!
Global action on human rights
Firstly, in October we worked with thousands of rights defenders through the older men and women in 50 countries around the world who spoke up to defend their rights as part of the Age Demands Actioncampaign.
There were marches with brass band processions and involving celebrities like Kenyan football legend,Joe Kadenge. World renowned South African trumpeter, singer and composer Hugh Masekela also lent his support to older people's rights.
There were also exhibitions of older people's handicrafts and interactive radio talkshows in Indonesia;and in Bangladesh older people formed human chains to ask for an increase in their old age allowance.

Read more about our campaigns and our work for the rights of older people

SOURCE:     HelpAge.Org

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Daughter in Fatal Elder Abuse Case Faces Indictment (USA)

Daughter in fatal elder abuse case faces indictment
By Kevin P. O'Connor
Dec 09, 2010 

A grand jury will announce indictments Friday, against Karen Cabral, the woman charged with severely neglecting her mother.

Cabral’s mother, who was 80 years old, died two days after she was taken to the hospital for treatment of bedsores and a blood infection.

Lawyer Kenneth Van Colen, who represents Cabral, told District Court First Judge Gilbert Nadeau that Cabral, 49, will be indicted and is scheduled for arraignment in Superior Court on Dec. 15.

SOURCE:     The Herald News

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Caretaker Accused of Elder Abuse in Death of Woman, 83 (USA)

70-year-old caretaker accused of elder abuse in death of woman, 83
December 9, 2010 
By Tony Perry
A 70-year-old woman has been arrested on suspicion of elder abuse in the death of an 83-year-old woman whose body "showed signs of trauma," the San Diego Police Department  said Thursday night.
Maria Moore, the older woman's caretaker, was booked into the Las Colinas jail for women, police said.

SOURCE:      LA Times Blog

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December 10, 2010

Experts Call for Reform as Aged Care Gripes Rise (WA. AUSTRALIA)

The West Australian
December 6, 2010

Welfare advocates have called for urgent reform of the aged care sector after new figures showed complaints about aged care homes and alleged assaults on residents were on the rise.
The Federal Government's report into the Aged Care Act also highlighted the shortage of residential care places, with almost 8 percent of elderly people assessed as needing high care waiting at least nine months for a bed.
Council on the Ageing WA chief executive Ken Marston said the statistics showed the immense pressure aged care services were under.
"There's a huge shortage in WA and it's getting worse," he said.
"Where are these people going? They are going into care awaiting placement, something between an acute hospital and a nursing home, or they are in the community being cared for by people who simply don't have the resources needed.
"We have people parked all over the place."
The Federal aged care complaints investigation scheme received 13,166 complaints in 2009-10 - 5 percent up on the previous year - mostly about health and personal care, and alleged abuse.
While complaints increased nationally, the report did not specify the number of complaints in WA in 2009-10. There were 1085 complaints in WA in 2008-09.
However, officials made fewer visits to WA residential care homes in 2009-10, with 184 announced site visits and 34 unannounced site visits compared with 197 and 42 respectively the year before.
Fewer breaches of aged care regulations were uncovered by officials, with 51 being identified in WA residential care homes last year compared with 75 in 2008-09.
Alleged assaults on residents in aged care homes increased to 1488, with 256 of them involving alleged unlawful sexual contact.
Lynda Saltarelli, from advocacy group Aged Care Crisis, said there was a lack of transparency about nursing home complaints which prevented elderly people and families making informed decisions.
Ms Saltarelli said the quality and quantity of staff was another big problem. "Staff are run off their feet and often have to deal with lots of resident with high care needs," she said.
Aged care providers have argued that they are underfunded by the Federal Government, which subsidises aged care beds.
Federal Ageing Minister Mark Butler said yesterday Australia had one of the best aged care systems in the world but the Government was aware that it needed reform.
Mr Butler said the Productivity Commission was investigating detailed options for aged care reform and said the Government had "full faith" in the complaints investigation scheme and the Aged Care Standards and Accreditation Agency.

SOURCE:     Yahoo News, Australia

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December 9, 2010

Woman's Daughter Charged with Abuse and Neglect ( USA)

Woman's daughter charged with abuse and neglect
'Worst case I've ever seen'
December 8, 2010

A 98-year-old woman who died Tuesday was being neglected by her primary caregiver, her 60-year-old daughter, police said.

Police were summoned by EMS workers to the East George Street home of Anne Copeland about 6:20 p.m. Monday. The elderly woman was lying in a soiled bed, said St. George Police Lt. Eric Bonnette, commander of the detective division. She had numerous sores, he said.
The house was unheated and filthy, with animal droppings and odors throughout, he said.

SOURCE:  The Post and Courier

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Concerns Over Care Homes (IRELAND)

Concern over care homes
08 December 2010

SEVERAL care homes for the elderly have been served "improvement notices" by health department inspectors, and one has closed down voluntarily, after critical inspection reports.
The Audit Office report — covering the period 2006-2009 — has also questioned the regulations allowing unregistered and unqualified carers, including nursing support staff, to work in both residential and nursing care homes.
Following a series of Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority (RQIA) inspections, 29 care homes in Northern Ireland were served a total of 45 "failure to comply" notices along with quality improvement plans.

According to the report published today, ten of the worst performing care homes were also served with notices "imposing additional conditions of registration".

The additional restrictions are described as ranging from restricting admission to the cancellation of a home's registration.

One repeatedly failing care home in Antrim closed voluntarily after failing three separate inspections and an "inability to sustain improvement".

There are almost 10,000 people being cared for in the province's 490 registered care and nursing homes at a cost of £280 million per year on top of the residents' contributions.

The report calls for the health department to establish a "clear time frame" of action on improving staff regulation for the "protection of vulnerable adults", and to improve care quality.

SOURCE:      Newsletter.co.uk

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Couple Admit to Theft in Elder Abuse Case (USA)

Forest Grove couple admit to theft in elder abuse case
December 08
By Emily E. Smith
The Oregonian

Police investigated a Forest Grove pair for three months and accused them in June of elder abuse.

Debra Ann Drown, 43, and 50-year-old Richard Dennis Neil, purchased a Trent West timeshare, a boat, two vehicles and charged credit cards using unauthorized online access to an 84-year-old woman's money, police said.

SOURCE:       The Oregon Live

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December 7, 2010

Reports Reveals Shocking Examples of Failings in Nursing Care (WALES)

Report reveals shocking examples of failings in nursing care
by Madeleine Brindley, Western Mail

A hard-hitting report by the Patients Association has revealed shocking examples of serious failings in nursing care. The daughter of a woman treated in South Wales shares her account of her mother’s experience
“MY mother’s health had already started to decline before my father died.
Memory and mobility problems were noticeable before 2006 – after my father died she became more and more reliant on family and carers for day-to-day living.
After two falls in October 2009 she was admitted to the Princess of Wales Hospital, in Bridgend, for tests and observation. This was the first time my mother had stayed in hospital, having been in fairly good health for most of her 82 years.

We (her family) received conflicting information concerning her condition and future care – she had a fracture of the hip; she didn’t have a fracture; she had a chest infection; she had a urine infection.
It depended on whom we managed to speak to. If the family were confused, then my mother most certainly was greatly confused.
During her stay in hospital she was moved four times between wards. Staff were too busy to help her walk to the toilet – it saved time to either wheel her or bring a commode – also, to be on the safe side, incontinence pads were used.
I think this combination is part of the institutionalisation of patients and the reason my mother became incontinent.
On December 20 we were told my mother could go home the following day. This was obviously impossible to arrange at such short notice – she needed four care visits a day, special equipment put in place, not to mention arrangements with medication and pharmacy visits.
It seems rather harsh, but at this point we thought she would be safer where she was until after the holiday – it took some persuading for staff to see the sense in this.
On December 30 – just 10 days after we were told she could go home – we were told that it would be unlikely that my mother would go home unless she had 24-hour supervision and encouraged us to look for a placement in a residential home.
She stayed at the hospital until the end of January – we were hoping she wouldn’t be moved until a place was ready for her but bed-blocking necessitated a move, in the interim, to a community hospital – Maesgwyn.
February to April saw a further decline in my mother’s mental health.
During her stay at Maesgwyn my family mentioned to all levels of staff that mum’s needs were not being met satisfactorily but because of the rigid, institutional atmosphere we were concerned not to compromise her care by complaining too much.
She was not bathed or showered frequently enough. She was left to her own devices in the toilet – she couldn’t cope with incontinence pads and was seen on one occasion walking in the corridor with her underwear and pad around her lower legs, very distressed.
Underwear and clothes that were soiled were left in her wardrobe – resulting in the clean laundry smelling and possibly being contaminated. A senior nurse said she couldn’t be present all the time to prevent this.

SOURCE:    WalesOnline


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Lack of Reform Leaves Elderly Open to Neglect (AUSTRALIA)

Lack of reform leaves elderly open to neglect
06 Dec, 2010

A CULTURE which does not value older people is the underlying cause of elder abuse, senior citizen.
Local seniors have welcomed changes to NSW law which could see those who neglect elderly people in their care jailed for up to five years.s believe.

The changes involve modernising a section of the Crimes Act to bring the law up-to-date with social changes, including an ageing population.
They will protect older people dependent on carers, parents cared for by their children and people who are dependent on their de facto partner by making it an offence to fail to provide properly for them.
Orange resident Jenny Sams said it was not unheard of for older people to experience abuse and said she was pleased the government was responding.
“I think it is a problem,” she said. “People can be neglected.
“I used to work in the aged care industry and some people who come in are neglected. I also think we don’t know our neighbours these days so it can be hard to look out for people.”
Tricia Dolstra said there was an underlying lack of respect in the way Australians treated their elderly relatives.
“The amount of people who are dumped in nursing homes and never get a visitor - it’s awful,” she said. “It’s about time we took a leaf out of other cultures’ books.”
The changes to the law have been welcomed by the NSW Council on the Ageing.
Ron Savage, who co-ordinates a Broadband For Seniors program in Orange, said volunteer tutors had recently been asked to submit to police background checks in order to protect their students.
Mr Savage said it was important to protect people who may be vulnerable.
“Anyone dealing with the elderly will have to have a police check,” he said. “With kids you’re probably worried about sexual abuse, but I think with the elderly it’s more about financial exploitation.”
The changes to the Crimes Act will also replace a reference to “insane persons” with a more modern description of a person with a mental illness.

SOURCE:    The Central Western Daily

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Any Charges Reported on this blog are Merely Accusations and the Defendants are Presumed Innocent Unless and Until Proven Guilty.

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