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June 23, 2011

Elderly Suffer As Carers are Not Given Time to do their Job (UK)

2 June 2011 09:00
The watchword was supposed to be dignity, but as Sarah Freeman reports, yet another report has exposed the failures in care of the elderly.
Initially Geraldine Stone was relieved when she was told her elderly mother, in the advanced stages of Huntington’s disease, was eligible for home help.
Her father was struggling to cope and with Geraldine working full-time and living some 30 miles away from her parents’ home, outside intervention seemed like a lifeline. The reality was very different.
“The ladies who provided the home help often lived some miles away,” says Geraldine.
“They weren’t paid for their travelling time and by the time they arrived they were often exhausted themselves.
“If they weren’t able to get to a shift, it often went without cover. Mornings were often difficult and frequently my mother was put to bed at 5.30pm and not changed, given food or drink until lunchtime the next day. She would lie in a soaking bed, dehydrated and hungry.
“My elderly father would sometimes try to manually lift her and change her, but it simply wasn’t possible for someone acting alone. The carers were supposed to feed my mother and give her drinks, but often they just left it by her bedside because there wasn’t time to sit with her while she ate.”
Huntington’s is a degenerative disease and as the condition worsens, sufferers need 4,000 calories a day to just maintain their body weight. Swallowing food can be difficult and one meal can take up to an hour to eat and digest.
Unfortunately, time was the one thing the home helps assigned to Geraldine’s mother did not have.
Each was contracted to spend just 30 minutes at the home and, with little continuity of care, unsurprisingly her mother’s condition began to deteriorate.
“It was terrible,” says Geraldine. “Her weight fell to just 7st, but no-one seemed to be able to do anything.
“I lost count of the number of head injuries my mother had falling out of her bed before she was given one with partial sides. My mother did not receive care at all, never mind appropriate care.”
After appealing her case, Geraldine did eventually manage to secure her mother a place in specialist residential care, but her experience with the home help service left her wondering just how many other vulnerable elderly people are being left to fend for themselves.
“There is not time to change someone who is doubly incontinent and give them food and drink in 30 minutes,” she says. “There is not time to chat and be a friend to someone who is lonely. Care in the community may work where there are other family members present in the home at all times and the care needs are minimal, but it has to adapt to individual needs.
“Unfortunately our family’s experience showed it to be completely inflexible.”
Stories like Geraldine’s will form the basis of an inquiry into the state of elderly home care which is being carried out by the Equality and Human Rights Commission.
The full report will be published later this year, but its interim findings, which claim some people are regularly left for 17 hours, while others are at risk of malnutrition, suggest that it’s unlikely to be a glowing verdict.
At present, more than one million people receive care and support in their own home compared to an estimated 173,000 in residential care and the numbers look set to increase.
By 2051, there will be 15.8 million people aged 65 or over, a rise of 91 per cent compared with 2008 and the Government is keen to allow people to stay in their own homes for as long as possible.
“Against a backdrop of budget cuts and public sector reform, local authorities are playing an ever-decreasing role as direct producers or funders of care and support with the majority of older people receiving care from private and voluntary sector and individuals,” says Neil Crowther, the commission’s human rights director.
“However, in the process it would seem older people’s basic human rights are being overlooked.
“In gathering our evidence we have uncovered many worrying cases – from a woman who recorded having 32 different carers in just two weeks to people being left in soiled beds and clothes.
“The very brief time allocated to homecare visits does not allow even the basic essential tasks to be done properly. As a result, people sometimes have to choose between having a cooked meal or a wash.
“Many are too scared to complain and have low expectations about the quality of care they are entitled to.
“Basic rights are being undermined and it’s something that must be addressed.”



SOURCE:     The Yorkshire Post, UK
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Another report is called for. Heard that before? Yes, it is happening around the world. Whenever there is a public outcry - in this case -  Aged Care; the government of the day, usually calls for a report. Then when the report is finished (which could take months or years to complete), the government would just file the report in their library!


Come On ! Enough is enough. The trend is very similar, in many countries; the vulnerable elderly are just NOT been taken care of, properly. 
Another thing that we all know: Poor economic times 'calls for austerity measures'. Guess what? Government usual spending cuts often target the old and frail. 
You don't see that happening in your country? You must be from a different planet. 


My apologies for this outburst. But, enough is enough !!!


............................. Andrew

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Elder Abuse: Recognizing the Signs


Recognizing the signs
Elder abuse
By HEATHER RIVERS, QMI Agency
22 June, 2011

WOODSTOCK — 
It's generally hidden behind closed doors, but there are warning signs.
Elder abuse is more widespread than most of us could ever imagine, and on June 15, World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, the Oxford OPP were raising awareness about the issue.

Warning signs of elder abuse could include unexplainable physical injuries and marked changes in personality.
" By learning to identify the signs, people can detect and report incidents of abuse and neglect among aging members of our community," OPP Const. Monica Cachagee of the crime prevention section said.
Cachagee said seniors experiencing elder abuse may appear socially withdrawn, exhibit changes in attitude or abnormal behaviour, and show signs of poor hygiene or poor nutrition.
Since financial abuse is the most common form of elder abuse, another key warning sign is a senior that may be unable to meet financial obligations.
"If you see any senior members of your community exposed to one or more of these circumstances, help protect them by reporting suspected abuse," Cachagee said. " It's important that everyone be able to talk about elder abuse openly and seniors should feel empowered to talk with caregivers, family members or physicians anytime they feel threatened.
"
It has been estimated that between four and 10 % of Ontario's seniors experience some type or form of abuse.
In Oxford County, the number works out to be about 4,000 people, ages 55 and older, who may be facing neglect and physical, psychological, financial and even sexual abuse.
Lorna Boratto, a member of the Oxford County elder abuse and neglect committee ( OCEAN), said the committee is marking World Elder Abuse Awareness Day by planting a memorial tree in Tillsonburg that is accompanied by a plaque.
" It's one way to raise awareness," she said. " It's one more way of communicating with people that elder abuse does occur and the need to be aware of that and do whatever we can to decrease the incidence."
A memorial tree, accompanied by an awareness plaque, was also planted in Woodstock last year in a small parkette located at the corner of Huron and Dundas streets.
OCEAN is a joint partnership of 22 community agencies ranging from police services to Crime Stoppers, legal aid and health care and volunteer support agencies



SOURCE:    The TillsonburgNews, CA
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Campaign to Improve Protection of Vulnerable Adults (UK)

Campaign to improve protection of vulnerable adults
22nd June 2011

A SPECIAL information board at Kidderminster Hospital was manned by social work and nursing staff as part of a campaign to improve protection of vulnerable adults.
The Worcestershire Safeguarding Adults Board (WSAB) commemorated World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEADD) on Wednesday, June 15 with a number of informative display boards situated at County Hall and in hospitals countywide.
It is estimated that more than 4,000 older adults are abused in their homes in Worcestershire each year, and this figure does not include those living in care homes, hospitals or those with a mental health problem.
Worcestershire's referral rate was 455 cases of abuse of older people reported last year (2010). This is slightly above the national average, but is still less than one in nine of all the suspected incidents of abuse.
On WEAAD itself the hospital boards were manned by social work and nursing staff.
They aimed to raise awareness of the mistreatment and neglect of older adults, to illustrate the kinds of appropriate preventative measures that can be taken to stop this happening and show how to refer concerns about abuse of older people to the relevant agencies for action.
Also, WEAAD saw the launch of the WSABs new prevention strategy, which strives to ensure that all agencies are working to protect vulnerable adults against abuse.
The WSAB brings together Worcestershire County Council, the district councils, local health services, the police, the independent and voluntary sectors and service users and their carers.
Pete Morgan, the independent chairman of the WSAB, said: “The public perception is that children are the most at risk of abuse but vulnerable adults need our care and protection too, and not only those living in care homes.
"Those living in their own homes can also be at risk, but often in ways that can be hidden. The number of cases being reported is going up, an indication not that more adults are being abused, but that public and professional awareness is growing.”


SOURCE:    The KidderMinsterShuttle, UK
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Kentucky To Implement Tougher Criminal Background Checks For Caregivers (KY. USA)

Jun 22, 2011
Prospective caregivers for some of Kentucky's most vulnerable citizens may soon be subject to extensive criminal record searches, thanks to a $3 million grant to establish a comprehensive statewide system for thorough background checks.
"The Commonwealth of Kentucky is very pleased to participate in this critical initiative that is designed to help long-term care facilities and providers avoid hiring individuals with certain criminal histories by conducting federal and state level background checks on prospective job applicants," said Gov. Steve Beshear. "This falls directly in line with our ongoing work to address elder abuse and improve patient care in long-term care facilities."
Currently, state law requires long-term care facilities to conduct only name-based background checks for their prospective employees. This grant, however, will help the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) purchase equipment to conduct digital fingerprint background checks, which will ultimately enhance patient safety.
The grant enables the state to purchase live scan equipment to secure digital fingerprints that will be used for both in-state and FBI criminal background checks, according to cabinet officials.
Kentucky is home to 590 long-term care facilities, 101 assisted living facilities, and roughly 600 other providers who employ direct patient access workers.


Abridged
SOURCE:      The Lex18
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June 20, 2011

Broomfield Man's Plight Shines Light on Scams of Elderly (USA)


Broomfield man`s plight shines light on scams of elderly
06/19/2011

A grandfather receives a phone call from a blocked number. On the other end is someone claiming to be his grandson. The grandson says he was visiting Canada for a friend`s funeral, when he accepted a ride from the wrong group of people and, long story short, he`s been arrested for drug possession. He is in desperate need of bail money, but doesn`t want to tell his parents. He asks his grandfather to wire him money, and not tell his parents about the situation until he gets home.
The grandfather, of course, wants to help, and wires the money without talking to the boy`s parents about the situation. Later, the grandfather receives another phone call, this time from someone claiming to be a police sergeant. The sergeant tells him the co-defendants in his grandson`s drug case hired a high-powered attorney and he should wire money to do the same, or his grandson might take the wrap. Again the he wires the money, this time to a lawyer`s bank account in the Cayman Islands.
The calls with new situations requiring more money continue for four days, until the now-suspicious grandfather heads over to his grandson`s house, where he finds his grandson, who had never left the country at all. He had been working long hours and had not paid his cell phone bill, which is why his grandfather couldn`t reach him when he called. The grandfather calls back the supposed Canadian police to find the phone is disconnected and his is money long gone.
It`s not a tale to be checked on Snopes.com, but rather the actual account of a phone scam perpetrated on a Broomfield resident between May 31 and June 3. The 80-year-old man has asked only to be identified as Gene, because of the embarrassment of the situation.
Gene said when the scam was all said and done, the scam artists took him for an estimated $19,500. While the amount is staggering, he said it didn`t financially cripple him. And since he has taken his case to the Broomfield police, he has heard of other seniors who were taken by the same scam and were not so lucky.
He said he hopes that if other seniors hear his story, they will be warier of these "grandparent/grandchild" scams, which are becoming more prevalent around the world.
"I`m no dummy and I`m not senile," Gene said. "I know about all these financial frauds against seniors. I just did not see this thing coming. It`s such a little place to get right into your heart and hook you."
According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, 12 percent of the U.S population is age 65 or older, and 7 percent of the Broomfield population is 65 or older. AARP reports that people age 50 and older make up roughly half of those victimized by Internet or telemarketing scams in the United States every year.
Broomfield Detective Julie Ostrander investigates property crimes. She said this scam has becoming increasingly common locally over the past two years, with phony grandkids calling in, typically from Canada or Jamaica, to ask for bail money.
RESOURCES 
Here are some fraud and scam prevention resources.
ElderWatch: Call the toll-free hotline at             800-222-4444       orhotline.aarpelderwatch.org
The Denver Regional Council of Governments:            303-455-1000       ornetworkofcare.org and click on the Broomfield County link
17th Judicial District Attorney`s Office: To schedule free presentations, call            303-835-5639     







Abridged
SOURCE:     BroomfieldEnterprise
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Elder Abuse (SINGAPORE)


Implement reward system for workers

The New Paper
Jun 19, 2011
By Raymond Anthony Fernando

IT IS shocking to read the report of mistreatment of the elderly woman in the Nightingale Nursing Home, "Nightmare at the Nightingale" (The New Paper, June 10).
To ill-treat a defenceless elderly woman who suffered a stroke is inhumane and unacceptable. I am surprised that the abusers have got away with just being disciplined.
Do they not know that a woman's modesty should be protected at all cost, and that to slap a helpless old woman on the mouth can be very painful?
Was this the only time the senior citizen was abused or were there other instances?
Under the elder abuse laws, the perpetrators should be brought to court for physical, and possibly, verbal abuse.
Otherwise occurrences of such abuses will continue and some cases of ill treatment may even go undetected.
While managing persons with chronic illnesses and disabilities is not the easiest task, professional caregivers who are entrusted to care for the sick must practise patience and perseverance that can help to lift the human spirit and lead the afflicted ones to recovery.
In this respect, I propose that the Government implements an attractive reward system that recognises professional health-care workers in nursing homes who go the extra mile in caring for their charges, just as they do in public hospitals.
Caregivers should also be encouraged to visit their sick relatives frequently and to this end, it is necessary to ensure that all nursing homes are easily accessible to members of the public in terms of buses - be it from public transport companies or feeder bus services.
Caregiving, whether it comes from professional health-care workers or family members must be promoted as a noble job.
I therefore revisit an idea which I have proposed a few times to the Government - give a caregiver's allowance that can help family members take on this task rather than place them in nursing homes, bearing in mind that looking after a person with disabilities or chronic illnesses requires supervision 24/7.
Unannounced visits at nursing homes and hospitals by officials from the Ministry of Health (MOH), coupled with six-monthly feedback assessments from relatives on the service levels at these homes, that can be summarised by the home's administrators to MOH, should also be put in place.
This article was first published in The New Paper.





SOURCE:  AsiaOne News
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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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