Maltreatment of Patients in Nursing Homes
There Is No Safe PlaceBook - 2005
Abuse, although often not detected or reported, existed in every facility we surveyed. It is a serious problem.
Old, weak, and often cognitively impaired, nursing home patients can be easy targets for physical, psychological, material, and financial mistreatment at the hands of those entrusted with their care, safety, and well-being. Maltreatment of Patients in Nursing Homes: There Is No Safe Place examines the dark side of nursing homes, where not every employee has the commitment of Mother Theresa. This groundbreaking book applies criminological theory to help develop practical methods of controlling abuse and presents the results of the first and only nationwide study on the theft of patients’ belongings, a form of abuse too often ignored by the nursing home industry.
Maltreatment of Patients in Nursing Homes surveys employees, administrators, and family members of patients in 47 nursing homes throughout the United States. Their responses provide invaluable insights on a wide range of topics, including the social and psychological factors that cause different types of abuse, characteristics of nursing home patients and employees, the bureaucracy of nursing homes, victimization rates, workforce issues of nursing home aides, and federal regulations for nursing homes. The information gained from the surveys forms the basis for detailed recommendations for creating a safer environment and reducing all forms of abuse, including theft-prevention training programs, background checks and improved screening of potential employees, education and advocacy for current staff, and the reform of federal regulations.
Maltreatment of Patients in Nursing Homes examines:
- types of physical abuse (restraints, sexual abuse, neglect)
- the who, what, and why of nursing home theft
- types of financial abuse (trust accounts, bank accounts, improper charges for services and drugs, identity theft)
- types of psychological abuse (abandonment, segregation, childlike treatment, verbal abuse)
- effects of psychological abuse (depression, learned helplessness, psychiatric disorders)
- reasons for abuse by employees (staff turnover, job burnout, job dissatisfaction, caregiver stress)
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This brief book examines nursing homes from a criminological perspective. It discusses a few theories of how and why abuse takes place, then goes on to present the authors' research on theft in nursing homes. It wraps up with a short discussion of physical and psychological abuse.
Nursing homes provide an ideal environment for abusers and criminals: a stressful environment that motivates crime, vulnerable victims, and a minimal chance of detection and prosecution. Nursing home administrators have strong motivations to not investigate and prosecute the crimes happening in their facilities
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