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6/5/2012 7:18:57 PM - Warning Signs of Elder Abuse
In previous generations, it was a given that the “young folks” would respect their elders. Sad to say, that’s not necessarily the case anymore. In fact, according to a report by the National Research Council, somewhere between three and five percent of the elderly population might be suffering abuse – most often from caregivers or family members.

It’s a hard statistic to get a handle on, because so much of it goes unreported. Some elderly victims have dementia or are housebound. They may be physically unable to report the abuse or too confused to understand what has occurred. It is estimated that for every incident of elder abuse that is reported, there are five more that are not.

Often, the elderly person is frightened. They may not know who to trust or worry that no one will believe them. Many times the logical person to tell is the very person committing the abuse.

We as family, caregivers, friends or bystanders need to be vigilant for signs of abuse. Just because our elders aren’t saying that something is wrong, doesn’t mean that it isn’t.

Elder abuse can fall into any one of a variety of categories – physical, verbal, emotional, financial or sexual. Even neglect is a type of abuse. Here are a few things to look for.

• Physical abuse – Watch for signs of bruises or sudden injuries. You may see actual evidence of this abuse or you may get calls about the senior going to the doctor or hospital. Falls are common among older people, but an unusual number of injuries may mean something else is going on. Physical abuse can also result from the use of restraints or drugs that alter their physical and mental wellbeing.

• Verbal and emotional abuse – These go hand-in-hand and can be much more insidious than the more obvious physical abuse. But when a family member or caregiver treats the elder poorly, the effects are every bit as serious. Is there anyone who frequently yells at the senior? Speaking condescendingly, sneering, taunting, or name-calling is all signs of verbal abuse. Watch and listen to the senior when caregivers are present. While the abuse may only happen when they are alone, watch for how the senior reacts when various people are present. Do they shrink back or become silent? These may be signs that they are frightened or intimidated.

• Financial abuse – A dwindling bank account would be an obvious sign of financial abuse, but some signs are less overt. Watch out for “new” insurance agents or accountants or “friends” who are given access to the elder’s finances. Be wary of any sudden changes in Power of Attorney or anyone pushing the person to change their will.

• Sexual abuse – Any unwanted sexual contact with a senior is sexual abuse, but also be aware of anyone showing porn to the senior or asking them to undress inappropriately.

• Neglect – In a category all its own, neglect is a serious and prevalent form of abuse among the elderly population. Instead of too much attention, the senior is getting little or none. Are they left to lie in their beds all day and night (sometimes showing signs of bedsores as a result)? Are they fed regularly? If they wear adult diapers, are these changed on a consistent basis? Does the senior have clean clothes that are changed daily? Are they encouraged to interact with other residents or caregivers?
Often seniors can’t – or don’t – recognize abuse. And when they do, they still may not report it. Knowing these warning signs can help to keep our seniors safe.


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2/5/2009 10:11:08 AM - Driving With Multiple Sclerosis
Multiple Sclerosis can affect individuals in varying ways including tingling, numbness, slurred speech, blurred or double vision, muscle weakness, poor coordination, unusual fatigue, muscle cramps, bowel and bladder problems and paralysis.
http://www.birf.info/home/library/transport/trans_ms-screen.html

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2/5/2009 10:07:02 AM - Driving After A Stroke
Driving is viewed not just as a 'privilege' but also as a necessity. When a stroke occurs it can affect the skills necessary for independent driving. A majority of stroke survivors can return to independent driving. The goal is to maintain safe and independent driving for as long as possible.
http://www.birf.info/home/library/transport/trans_stroke-screen.html

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2/5/2009 9:41:58 AM - Toileting safety
People with a wide variety of physical and mental impairments may require some modification of the physical environment to improve safe access to the toilet. Bathrooms should be modified to compensate for the person's altered mobility.
http://www.pennhealth.com/ency/article/003980.htm

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2/5/2009 9:13:00 AM - Questions to ask when choosing a Home Health Agency
People often receive home health services following a hospitalization or care in other care settings. Often the hospital discharge planner or social worker provides information on home health agencies to the patient or family.
http://www.aahomecare.org/displaycommon.cfm?an=1&subarticlenbr=85

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2/5/2009 9:11:39 AM - Nursing Home Compare
The primary purpose of this tool is to provide detailed information about the past performance of every Medicare and Medicaid certified nursing home in the country.
http://www.medicare.gov/NHCompare/Include/DataSection/Questions/SearchCriteria.asp?version=default&browser=IE|6|WinXP&language=English&defaultstatus=0&pagelist=Home&CookiesEnabledStatus=True

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2/5/2009 9:10:15 AM -  Nursing home check list - PDF
Provides a detailed checklist for rating different nursing homes visited based upon, Quality of Life, Quality of Care, Nutrition and Hydration, and Safety.
http://www.medicare.gov/Nursing/Checklist.pdf

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2/5/2009 9:06:34 AM -  How to Select a Nursing Home
Selecting a nursing home is an important, personal, and often difficult decision. Sometimes the selection is the result of deliberate planning, but often the decision happens during a crisis situation.
http://ahcaxnet.fdhc.state.fl.us/nhcguide/select_home.shtml

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