Archive for the Category Elder Safety


Connecticut Pilot Program Attempts To Improve Elder Safety

Connecticut is looking to airline and hospital official training regimens as a platform from which to put together a pilot program which aims to improve safety in nursing homes.  The TeamSTEPPS for Long Term Care pilot program will seek to remove a manner of thinking that causes nursing home employees to work with blinders.  Instead, the new training program will place an emphasis on approaching care as a team.  Hospitals that have adapted similar mechanisms have been able to tout a drop in patient stays, drug-related adversity, and operating room nursing turnover.  Simple measures which can improve safety include having an overall staff meeting at the beginning of the day and taking a moment prior to a procedure to verify all available information.  The hope is that these kinds of tactics, when applied to nursing homes, will allow for safer environments for the elderly.

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Taking Guns Away From Elderly Individuals A Tricky Topic To Broach

A new report focuses on how doctors and family members can broach the tough topic of an elderly loved one removing firearms from their lives.  As the Director for Florida State’s Center for Innovative Collaboration in Medicine and Law explains, accidental or even intentional gunshot wounds that harm oneself are more common with older individuals.  He suggests that doctors need to speak with elderly patients to find out whether they’re in possession of a firearm, and when the time comes, they may need to speak with a family member about what to do moving forward.  Action would typically be needed when dementia sets in, similar to how a doctor would speak to families about limiting something like driving.  His further suggestions can be found in the Annals of Internal Medicine Journal.

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Bakersfield Retirement Home Scrutinized After Refusing CPR to Resident

A retirement home in Bakersfield is having its policies scrutinized after an elderly resident was refused CPR by a nurse.  A recorded 911 call reveals that the operator continuously asked the person who called in the incident to provide emergency assistance, but the nurse refused to do so because of company policy.  Glenwood Gardens, the facility where the event played out, has a policy wherein any type of emergency care prompts an overseer to call emergency officials as opposed to providing help themselves.  A spokesperson for the Kern County Fire Department says that the 911 operator appeared passionate during the phone call because of her belief that the nurse she was talking to was essentially electing not to save the woman’s life.  The 87-year old resident later passed away.

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Donation Allows Colleges to Improve Elder Abuse Prevention Procedures

In a bid to curtail elder abuse within New York, the Weill Cornell Medical College will put to use $13.6 million bestowed upon them by the Irene Diamond Fund, a charitable foundation.  $40 million was given in total to Columbia University, WCMC, Brown University, and the American Federation for Aging Research.  WCMC intends to use the money to improve their ability to collect data pertaining to elder abuse in a more standardized manner.  The money will also be used to figure out ways in which abuse of the elderly can be more adequately responded to.  The new protocols that it’s hoped will be put into action will be an expanded part of the Department of Geriatrics and Gerontology’s Elder Abuse and Neglect Project.

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New California Law Aims To Aid Elder Abuse Reporting Procedures

A new law recently put in place throughout California aims to aid the ability of police in the state to investigate and crack down on instances of elder abuse.  Prior to the law’s passage, caregivers were required to alert patient advocates at the office of the ombudsman when they believed abuse had occurred.  However, the new law makes it so that police must also be contacted.  The thought is that this will make details of the abuse available to police in much quicker fashion.  Caregivers in the area express optimism that the law will help cut down on elder abuse.  Members of Shasta Adult Protective Services and the Anderson-based Oak River Rehab each said they believe this measure will improve the ability of police to enforce elder abuse laws.

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Report Out of Maine Highlights Prevalence of Elder Abuse

A report out of Maine shines a spotlight on just how prevalent elder abuse is, but even with the high figures put forth, some officials worry that severe underreporting is still the norm.  The Maine Office of Aging and Disability Services director figures that 14,000 elder abuse incidents are reported every year, but he warns that this number could be as much as 15% of the actual cases that occur.  He also believes that 90% of incidents are perpetrated by family members of the elderly victim.  Financial as well as physical abuse could constitute an incident.  The Government Accountability Office has also begun to raise awareness of the issue, releasing a report that suggests curbing this trend must occur through training and better coordination among agencies.

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Alabama Lawmakers Announce New Elder Abuse Prevention Bill

This afternoon, two Alabama lawmakers plan to hold a press conference to announce an elder safety bill that they hope to pass in the new year’s upcoming legislative session that begins on February 5, 2013.  The effort has the backing of those two lawmakers (a Senator and a State Representative), as well as the support of the Governor and the Senior Services director of Alabama.  The bill as it stands would seek to cut down on the number of instances of elder abuse in the state.  It would also place more severe penalties on those found guilty of an elder abuse charge.  The Shelby County Heardmont Senior Center will be the site of the press conference.

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Alaska To Use Grant to Help Cut Down on Elder Abuse

The United States Administration on Aging has made available through a grant $1 million that will be used by the Adult Protective Services office of Alaska to help cut down on elder abuse.  Over the next three years, case managers will be tasked with interacting with those elderly persons who might be at risk of sustaining some kind of abuse.  Such individuals will be identified by local agencies such as the Anchorage Police Department and the Providence Alaska Medical Center working together to find out who might be in danger.  These same organizations will also attempt to determine how successful the pilot program is.  The hope is that, by concentrating efforts on at-risk demographics, abuse can be stopped before it starts.

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Government Accountability Office Concerned About Elder Financial Abuse

The Government Accountability Office is deeply concerned about financial abuse of the elderly, with a representative from the office going so far as to call this troubling form of abuse as being nearly on the level of an epidemic.  A report from the GAO shows that even those agencies and organizations that attempt to protect seniors from this type of abuse can’t do what they need to because they simply don’t have the resources.  That includes law enforcement officials.  A new report explains what elderly persons can do to protect themselves from financial fraud.  The tips include such things as letting a trusted loved one have access to your financial records and keeping important financial documents organized digitally in a place where you can access them easily and safely.

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Seniors Get Winter Car Safety Checks from Teens in Frankfort, Illinois

Both senior safety and winter vehicle safety are being encouraged by an event being held in Frankfort, Illinois.  Local Lincoln-Way North High School is allowing senior citizens to bring their vehicles in to get a no-cost safety check from students enrolled in the school’s automotive classes.  Fluid levels and tire pressure will be checked, as will undercarriages and the headlights on all automobiles.  The event, which has been going on for a few years now, is educational for the teens and provides senior citizens with a service that might otherwise be cost-prohibitive.  Safety information will also be provided  at the event by a local organization called Home Instead.

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SEACUS Holds Conference on Elderly Financial Abuse in Arizona

The National Council on Aging estimates that up to two million American citizens older than 65 have been exploited financially, which makes such offenses the third most common type of elder abuse.  That’s why an organization known as the South Eastern Arizona Community Unique Services, or SEACUS, is holding a conference next Thursday which aims to help prevent financial abuse among senior citizens.  The Elder Abuse Prevention Conference will offer tips to help seniors avoid con artists, telemarketing schemes, fraudulent charities, and more.  To make sure that those interested are able to attend, SEACUS is even offering transportation to those who think they could benefit from the event.

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Crash Casts Spotlight on Older Drivers in California

A recent accident involving a 100 year old driver who injured 11 children and adults has brought into question how closely the driving skills of older drivers should be monitored. Currently, the state of California only requires drivers over 70 (over 2 million in California) to pass written and vision tests every half a decade. Although older drivers are generally more cautious drivers, the Automobile Association of American urges citizens to plan some sort of driving retirement as they age.

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Report Shows Elder Financial Abuse Typically Carried Out by Family

The National Committee for the Prevention of Elder Abuse’s former president says that elder financial abuse is more likely to be perpetrated by family members than fraudulent telemarketers and the like.  A Department of Justice study seems to concur, as it showed that relatives spending an elderly’s individual’s money without bothering to seek permission is the most frequent abuse out there.  To avoid danger, caregivers and family members are urged to look out for suspicious transactions and increasing isolation by the elderly person.

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