Elder Abuse

Also see: Guardianship

“Maggots, Rape and Yet Five Stars: How U.S. Ratings of Nursing Homes Mislead the Public”
(New York Times — March 13, 2021)
“Of the more than 3,500 homes rated with 5 stars, over 2,400 were cited with infections control or patient abuse.”

“Nursing-home horrors go way beyond the virus”
(New York Post — December 1, 2020)
The failure to protect nursing-home residents early in the pandemic led to the death of at least 6,000 New Yorkers….
Nationwide, these residents constitute 40 percent of deaths, though they represent less than 1 percent of the population.  Yet the novel coronavirus has proved deadly to our elders in another, perhaps more insidious and invisible, way. According to barely noticed reporting from Associated Press, straight-up neglect has killed another 40,000 residents.

“Old Lives Matter, too”
(Mercatornet — June 15, 2020)
“From Minnesota, which has been the center of the world stage for many days now, comes a story which is not about riots and demonstrations.  A World War II veteran named Chester Peake, was diagnosed with coronavirus in a Twin Cities long-term care facility.  He was asymptomatic, but spent two-and-a-half weeks in isolation.   He died on June 2, just short of his 100th birthday.
“His death certificate listed the cause of his death as ‘social isolation, failure to thrive, related to Covid-19 restrictions’ — loneliness, in other words.”
More on Covid-19

“State’s assisted suicide bill imperils elder citizens”
(Times Union — March 21, 2020)
My patients taught me the five types of elder abuse: neglect, financial exploitation, emotional abuse, physical abuse and sexual abuse.  New York state legislators could create a new category: legally protected abuse….[T]his bill does not even mandate an in-person appointment to request the lethal medication.  Thus, there is no guarantee the patient is not being coerced, or that the patient is even the one requesting to end his or her life.  New York is the only state without mandatory reporting of elder abuse.
More on New York

“Three employees at an assisted suicide living facility are accused of encouraging elderly residents to fight one another”
(CNN — October 15, 2019)
Three employees at a North Carolina assisted living facility are accused of allowing elderly residents to fight one another, encouraging them to fight, and, in one case, assaulting a resident….The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services ordered the facility to stop admitting residents in August after determining that conditions were “detrimental to the health and safety of the residents.”
The suspension of admission will be lifted after Danby House enacts a plan of correction and the department returns for an unannounced inspection,  the health and human services department said in a statement.
[But, in the meantime, how safe are the residents who remain?]

“S. 178: Elder Abuse Prevention and Prosecution Act”
A bill to prevent elder abuse and exploitation and improve the just system’s response to victims in elder abuse and exploitation cases.  Enacted and signed by President trump on October 18, 2017.

Statistics on Elder Abuse
(Posted July 29, 2017)
Elder abuse is any physical or psychological abuse of an older person.

“Feds Warn Nursing Homes Deadly”
(New York Post — September 2, 2017)
An alert issued Monday by the Inspector General for the Department of Health and Human Services calls for urgent action.  It cites incidents in 33 states where residents were rushed to emergency rooms because of rape, broken bones or severe neglect.  The IG warned families to “visit your loved ones often” and “report potential cases of abuse or neglect o your local police.”

“Gov’t probe: Abuse in nursing homes unreported despite law”
(Albuquerque Journal — August 28, 2017)
More than 1 in 4 cases of possible sexual and physical abuse against nursing home patients apparently went unreported to police, says a government audit that faults Medicare for failing to enforce a federal law requiring immediate notification.

“Elder Abuse: ERs Learn How to Protect a Vulnerable Population”
(Kaiser Health News — August 28, 2017)
Because visits to the emergency room may be the only time an older adult leaves the house, staff in the ER can be the first line of defense….According to a New York study, as few as 1 in 24 cases of abuse against residents age 60 and older were reported to authorities.

“Elder abuse — a real and present danger”
(Mercatornet — August 28, 2017)
The Age newspaper published an online story last week that shows the depth of the abuse by children of an elderly person, pressing them to shed their assists in their favor…It’s a short step from that kind of behavior to subtle coercion that encourages an elderly parent to ask for assisted suicide.

“Financial abuse of elderly parents on the rise as housing becomes more unaffordable”
(Domain.com – The Age newspaper – August 27, 2017)
Parents are increasingly being bullied into downsizing prematurely…This “inheritance impatience” can have dire consequences on their lives…Some are forced into retirement villages too early.

“Renowned Neurosurgeon on Assisted Dying and His ‘Suicide Kit'”
(Medscape — April 27, 2017)
British neurosurgeon Henry Marsh favors euthanasia and assisted suicide.  He calls arguments against the practices grotesque.
“They argue that grannies will be made to commit suicide,” he said.  “Even if a few grannies get bullied into it, isn’t that the price worth paying for all the people who could die with dignity?”

“District Attorney Forms Elder Abuse Division”
(Nursing Home Law Center — April 26, 2016)
Preying on the elderly is a common problem in every city in the United States, including Las Vegas, where predators often attack the most vulnerable members of society.

“Elder Guardianship: A Shameful ‘Racket'”
(Diane Dimond — February 20, 2016)
Betty Winstanley is a well-spoken, elegant and wealthy 94-year-old widow.  And as she told me from her room at the Masonic Village retirement facility Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania, “I feel like I am in prison. My life is a living hell.”
Welcome to America’s twisted world of court-appointed guardians for the elderly

“Ten Percent of Elders Abused”
(National Review — November 14, 2015)
The NEJM warns that 10 percent of older Americans are abused….Know this. Assisted suicide legalization will lead to the ultimate elder abuse — pressured death, and all under the color of law.

“Elder Abuse: The Size of the Problem”
(National Center on Elder Abuse)
The most recent major studies on incidence reported that 7.6% – 1o% of study participants experienced abuse in the prior year.  The study found an incidence of 1 in 10 adults experiencing abuse did not include financial abuse.
In the only national study that attempted to define the scope of elder abuse, the vast majority of abusers were family members (approximately 90%) most often adult children, spouses, partners, and others.