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Prevention of Abuse and Neglect in Long Term Care Settings

The most effective prevention programs, experts say, use a combination of strategies to protect vulnerable elders. In 2002, the National Center on Elder Abuse commissioned a review of prevention research related to abuse in nursing homes and other long term care settings. Strategies identified in the literature include:

  • Assure coordination between law enforcement, regulatory, adult protection, and nursing home advocacy groups.
  • Support education and training in interpersonal caregiver skills, managing difficult resident care situations, problem-solving, cultural issues that affect staff/ resident relationships, conflict resolution, stress reduction techniques, information about dementia, and witnessing and reporting abuse.
  • Improve work conditions , through adequate staffing, enhanced communication between direct care and administrative staff, more time to nurture relationships between staff and residents, humane salaries, opportunities for upward mobility, and greater recognition, respect and understanding for the difficult lives many workers lead.
  • Assure compliance with federal requirements concerning hiring of abusive nurse aides.
  • Promote environments conducive to good care .
  • Assure strict enforcement of mandatory reporting, as well as educate professionals and the public (non-mandatory reporters).
  • Improve support for nurse aides (support groups).
  • Support and strengthen resident councils .
  • Assure that hiring practices include screening of prospective employees for criminal backgrounds, history of substance abuse and domestic violence, their feelings about caring for the elderly, reactions to abusive residents, work ethics, and their ability to manage anger and stress.

Link to HHS website
Dept. of Health and Human Services

Last Modified: 9/21/2011 11:12:23 AM 
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