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October 13, 2010

CMS Awards Florida Funds to Avoid Elder Abuse (USA)

CMS awards Florida funds to avoid elder abuse
October 12th, 2010
By Deborah Shlian
Miami Health Care Examiner

With so many elderly Floridians requiring some kind of care at home or in various nursing faculties, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid has awarded $3 million to conduct criminal background checks on potential caregivers.
Reports of elderly abuse and neglect have been on the rise. Unfortunately, many victims, either out of fear or inability to express themselves, suffer in silence.
Such abuse can take many forms including physical abuse, sexual abuse, neglect, psychological and emotional abuse.
In an effort to keep the kinds of people who might be prone to mistreating the elderly from employment as caregivers, a total of $13.7 million from Affordable Care Act funds was recently given to six states including Florida to make sure that health workers at nursing and assisted living facilities, home health and hospice agencies and long-term care hospitals that serve people with mental disabilities including Alzheimer’s disease have clean criminal records.
The new law set aside $160 million for the program, which is to run through September 2012. An additional 11 states have applied.
The following are signs suggestive of elderly abuse and neglect. Some are obvious; others such as emotional or behavioral changes require a high degree of suspicion.
Physical signs:
- Broken bones, bed sores, internal bleeding, medication overdose, severe dehydration, malnourishment, poor hygiene, head injury, falls, bruises, joint dislocation, soiled bedding.
Behavioral signs:
- Agitation, withdrawal, fear or anxiety, frequent crying, strained relationship with nursing home staff or complaints of improper treatment.
For further information: National Center on Elderly Abuse 
To report suspected elder abuse, neglect, or exploitation in Florida:
1-800-962-2873 (For suspected elder mistreatment in the home).
1-800-453-5145 (For suspected elder mistreatment in the home, TDD/TTY access).
1-888-831-0404 (For suspected elder mistreatment in long-term care facilities).
Other Helplines
- Elder Helpline: 1-800-963-5337
- Statewide Senior Legal Helpline: 1-888-895-7873
Click here for state statistics 



SOURCE:     The Examiner


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