87% of relatives support the use of closed circuit tv in nursing homes
There is a small but damaging number of people working in aged and disabilities services, who abuse the elderly and frail people in their care.
This is a painful but important issue to discuss. I have received several tragic reports from relatives of people in aged care. In one case a woman was allegedly based by a male staff member. In another a man died in mysterious circumstances, less than a month after being admitted to the home.
Causes include –
Governments using large financial incentives to entice training providers to accept and pass long term welfare recipients and people with multiple social problems through their nursing and care courses.
The privatisation of aged and disability services, making it easier for profit driven companies to fill their workforces with unskilled people.
Powerful unions and excessive red tape making sacking bad staff virtually impossible.
Total secrecy by the health bureaucracy, about which homes have histories of abuse and what has been done to reform them.
In Australia, relatives can’t even find out which nursing home has been mentioned in Coroner’s reports.
Some relatives are already employing undercover agencies
The appearance of nursing homes can be deceiving.
Expensive homes may provide beautifully furnished rooms and terrible staffing.
Cheaper facilities may provide basic or even dingy accommodation, but excellent nursing care.
Like hospitals, the payment system for nursing homes is ‘pay per item’ and not linked to actual outcomes. This leaves no incentive to encourage good quality care.
Concerned relatives are already approaching private investigation agencies to record abuse then taking this information to lawyers, aged care management and even the media.
Nurse Blog International reports that after the use of hidden cameras to record aged care abuse became a regular theme in the US media, some states now allow aged care facilities to legally and openly install them.
The rights of the old and frail come first
Public rating websites are very new to this sector and have had to overcome significant industry resistance to transparency.
They have done a great job bringing transparency to this sector.
As the founder of one rating service stated –
Aged Care Reviews believe there is no better way to encourage aged care operators to promote quality care and services than through the cleansing effect of light and transparency achieved through public reviews.
© Wikihospitals August 2015
Abuse in nursing homes soars – News.com 2008
Norma’s Project – a research study into the sexual abuse of older women in Australia – La Trobe University
The sexual abuse of elderly people in nursing homes and hospitals – Nursing Blog International
Sexual assault against the elderly, frequent but invisible – Sydney Morning Herald 2014
Aged care accreditation in the spotlight
– ABC Lateline 2013
State dealing with 300 cases of disabled abuse by carers
– The Age 2014
2014 © Wikihospitals 2014