Nobody wants to entertain the thought of their elderly mother, father or spouse being abused. However, stories of seniors suffering at the hands of caregivers in their own home or in institutional settings are all too prevalent. According to estimates provided by the National Center on Elder Abuse, between 1 and 2 million Americans over the age of 65 have been mistreated, injured, neglected or exploited by a caregiver and only 1 of every 14 incidents are reported.
Types of Abuse:
Elder abuse comes in many forms and can be committed by family caregivers, outside hired caregivers, or acquaintances that form a relationship with a senior.
-Financial Abuse finds seniors being swindled out of money, often to the tune of thousands of dollars, or out of assets to be acquired after their death.
-Physical Abuse is classified as any act of violence that causes injury, pain or impairment. Both physical acts and misuse of medication fall under this category.
-Emotional Abuse stems from conduct resulting in emotional anguish for seniors and may include ongoing threats, isolation and/or humiliation
-Neglect, or a severe lack of care in providing basic needs, and may range from failing to assist a senior with proper hygiene to leaving them without proper mental stimulation for long periods of time.
- Sexual Abuse is defined by the National Center on Elder Abuse as “non-consensual intimate contact or exposure or any similar act.”
-Abandonment takes place when an individual who has committed to caring for an elderly individual deserts their duties.
The aforementioned forms of abuse can be difficult to think about. Our elderly population deserves to age with dignity and respect, while receiving proper care from their caregivers.
The Role of Homecare Software In Preventing Elder Abuse
Although point-of-care management cannot prevent all kinds of abuse, the frequent updates provided at the point-of-care by the caregiver can prevent abandonment and neglect and keep caregivers aware that their activities are being monitored.
The ClearCare point-of-care system requests updates either via the iPad tablet or telephony system. In ClearCare telephony, when updating task status, if a caregiver marks a task as “Not Complete”, they are asked to record a reason over the phone. This voice recording appears next to the task in the ClearCare Care Log wherein the agency administrator and family members can hear the recording online. This enables the agency and family to listen for verbal queues – they can hear the voice of the caregiver! The ability to listen to verbal queues can alert the agency and family members to suspicious behavior, and ensures that the caregiver knows they’re being monitored.
Additionally, homecare agency administrators and clients are able to view tasks as they are completed and investigate suspicious patterns in an employee’s ClearCare entries. Seeing the updates of task status and the time at which they are completed can identify long lapses if they occur, and reinforce to the caregiver that there is transparency to their actions and consistent oversight.