Recently, Governer Cuomo signed a bill int law which requires state agencies to develop guidelines to assist health care providers (i.e. nursing homes, doctors, nurses, assisted living facilities, hospitals, certified nursing assistants) to detect elder abuse and mistreatment. These guidelines will be formulated by the Office for the Aging, the Department of Health and the Office of Children and Family Services.
It has been reported that 10 percent of all Americans over the age of 60 have been subjected and/or victimized by elder abuse. Many cases involving elder abuse are not reported because the victims are afraid to report the circumstances. This is especially worrisome in the New York area in light if the rapidly growing number of the senior population.
Especially important is training Emergency Room practitioners to identify victims of elder abuse as a first line of defense, as seeking assistance in the hospital may be the only time the elderly victim is seen by personnel outside of the nursing home, assisted living facility, or home, where the alleged abuse occurred.
The BILL can be summarized as "Relates to developing guidelines for the identification and reporting of suspected self-neglect, elder abuse and maltreatment in healthcare settings; requires the director of the office for the aging, the commissioner of the department of health, and the commissioner of the office of children and family services to publish such guidelines and materials on their websites and provide them to healthcare providers and facilities upon request."
Some signs and symptoms of elder abuse to watch out for are:
Bed Sores or Pressure Sores (also known as “decubitus ulcers” or “pressure ulcers”)
Falls resulting in fractures or other serious injury
Infection or Sepsis
Injuries of unknown origin
Malnutrition or Dehydration
Clogged Breathing Tubes
Physical or Sexual Assault or Abuse
Physical or Chemical Restraints
Alzheimer's and other dementias
Assaults by staff