Monday, January 28, 2008

Elder Abuse 101

We’ve been working hard in our office on new caregiver online training programs, and one of the focus topics we’re in the middle of is training on abuse and neglect – how to identify it and prevent it, and what to do if you see it happening to someone in your care.

One of the themes that comes out again and again in stories about elder abuse is caregiver exhaustion. The source for this exhaustion is typically short staffing and lack of training. Over and over we read stories of abuse happening in facilities that don’t have enough staff, haven’t screened their new staff enough, or don’t give their employees the training they need to feel confident about their work – leading to more and more job stress.

The job of caring for a vulnerable senior is a stressful job. We can’t afford NOT to screen more carefully, staff workforces fully and train above and beyond the minimum requirements. With the easy, affordability of online training resources, we have no excuses for not solving at least one of these areas that contribute to elder abuse.

If we don’t make these efforts the persons who will be abused may be you loved one or mine. For my part, I’ll do everything I can to make sure that ALL caregivers everywhere have the tools to know what constitutes abuse and neglect, and know what to do if they feel stress or overworked or see a co-worker in that position.

Thanks to a couple of YouTubers for posting videos that help spread the word about elder abuse prevention, and who have given us permission to use their material to help train new caregivers. It does indeed take a village working together to make changes!

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