Elder Care: Elder Abuse-What It Is And How To Catch It
Maybe you’ve seen the statistics lately indicating that a baby boomer reaches retirement age every ten seconds. Those over 65 years of age will soon outnumber the less than 65 age group. These statistics give an indication of the pressure that is put on Social Security and on nursing homes, long-term care facilities and other facilities needed to take care of seniors in their final days.
And it isn’t just the facilities that are in short supply. There is a shortage of nurses, nursing assistants and other healthcare workers who work in this specialized field.
The shortage is so bad for qualified personnel that a recent study showed that 90% of healthcare facilities had at least one convicted felon. Schools that train nursing personnel are booming in enrollment. There was an ad the other day that touted you can get a nursing certificate in as little as two weeks.
The point is, with the increased demand that seniors are putting on the system, the system is not doing a good job at keeping up in terms of facilities and personnel to care for them.
This leads to all kinds of elder abuse which can be manifested in physical, verbal and even psychological ways. A congressional study revealed that 60% of nursing homes had some kind of elder abuse. Many people are turning to alternatives to nursing homes and long-term care facilities such as home healthcare.
There is an absolute boom in home healthcare for senior citizens. That takes care of one of the problems-the facility-but not the other of qualified staff. If you use this alternative, you have to be especially careful because the person that is going to be taking care of your mom or dad in their house or yours is essentially a complete stranger. The vetting of personnel often goes by the wayside, which leaves the hiring of unqualified personnel with questionable backgrounds. This only exacerbates the problem of elder abuse.
So what can you do to help prevent or catch elder abuse? If you suspect it is happening with your parents, a hidden camera inside their room either in a nursing home, long-term care facility or especially in a home healthcare situation is a very viable solution. A hidden camera can be inside any common object that people are used to seeing in a home, office or business situation.
One of the most effective is the Projection Display Clock. It has a built-in DVR that records to an SD card. No one would ever suspect that an AM/FM radio is recording everything that’s going on with the motion activation feature. It is just one example of many of the hidden cameras that can be used to document elder abuse.
It provides another set of eyes on a very sensitive issue. You can’t be there all the time, so a hidden camera can provide documentation in an elder abuse situation or help document wrongdoing on the part of the home health caregiver.
Texas was the first state that authorized the use of a hidden camera to help catch and prevent elder abuse.
Be proactive in protecting your parents from elder abuse. A hidden camera is the best way to document an otherwise difficult crime to prove.
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