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Preventing Elder Abuse

Individual Steps

 The two most important things you, as an individual, can do to prevent resident abuse are:

  1. Call or visit the residents in your life frequently. Even if it’s just by phone, stay involved.  Isolated residents tend to have higher rates of abuse, and their signs of abuse tend to go unnoticed longer.
  2. If you know a caregiver – whether it’s a family member or a professional – make sure they get a break! Offer to provide care for a few hours, cook dinner, or provide some other form of relief.

National Initiatives

 In 1987, the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (OBRA) established that abuse of people in long-term care facilities was a major national problem.  Before then, there was no nation-wide background check system for people working in long-term care facilities.  A person who had abused patients in one state could simply go to another and get a job there.

Since then, the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Studies (CMS) has granted over $64 million to 26 different states to aid in the development of a national background check database.

For more information on preventing resident abuse, visit the National Center on Resident Abuse at www.ncea.acl.gov

If you need support or have any questions regarding elder abuse in nursing homes, please contact us for immediate assistance.

References

“CMS National Background Check Program.”  January 1, 2016.  United States Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.  Available at http://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Provider-Enrollment-and-Certification/SurveyCertificationGenInfo/BackgroundCheck.html

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