A Form of Elder Abuse that goes unnoticed


Understanding Elder Abuse is a topic that is now a hospital competency for healthcare workers. As a nurse in the ED there are situations where the abuse is evident and other times more subtle and seen through the interactions between the elderly patient and his/her family. What about those families that bring grandma or grandpa to the ED right before a Holiday with a list of symptoms that guarantee an admission? Only for us, the staff to hear the family tell us they are going out of town for the Holidays and won’t be available for X number of days. It is a situation that, when assessed, is a form of Elder Abuse. It happens more often with those elderly patient’s who are not able to verbalize well, have dementia/Alzheimer’s or cannot speak for themselves. With an overhaul of the healthcare system there will have to be an overhaul of the social services in this country because without it there will be no way to provide safe, effective and complete care to the most vulnerable in our population.

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