The Department for Community Based Services (within the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS)) has recognised the efforts of two Kentucky community groups in their efforts towards local elder abuse prevention. Elder Abuse PreventionPublic Awareness Initiative awards have been awarded to Northern Kentucky Elder Maltreatment Alliance (EMA) and Kentucky River Council Against Maltreatment of Elders (CAME), each receive $300. The awards cover commitment and efforts (elder abuse prevention) from May 2018 through May 2019 via public outreach. The efforts of both groups are making a real difference for the senior citizens of Northern Kentucky and the DCBS comments that everyone can be involved in the well being of community elders. Together with local agencies and offices the Local Coordinating Councils on Elder Abuse (LCCEAs) are prioritising elder abuse prevention across counties and the work is saving lives.

Reporting suspected exploitation, neglect or abuse in Kentucky is the law and also confidential. For the State fiscal year of 2018, 29,249 calls were made to report abuse of elders aged 60 and over. The State has a network of 22 LCCEA’s covering 92 counties. These councils are primarily focused on educating communities in protecting their elders from financial exploitation, neglect and abuse. There is a toll-free hotline for reporting which is 1-877-KYSAFE1 (1-877-597-2331). Anybody in Kentucky can become involved with their LCCEA’s and membership is free and readily available to anyone who wishes to actively participate in elder abuse prevention within their community.

Another recent case which is both unsavoury and questions the actions of the care home itself happened in a Chicago nursing home. A 91 year old woman suffering with dementia was teased by two care care workers at The Abington of Glenview Nursing & Rehab Center. The care workers took a video of themselves teasing the elderly woman while moving a hospital gown towards her, staff at the nursing home knew she was afraid of hospital gowns. The video was then posted to Snapchat titled “Margaret hates gowns,” this according to a lawsuit filed last Wednesday in Cook County Circuit Court. While the two staff were suspended the allegations were found by the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) to be unsubstantiated. The two workers were back to work 6 days later. The elderly female’s health deteriorated and she was moved from The Abington and the family had to hire a private caregiver.

The family sued the nursing home and the care givers confessed and were subsequently charged in January with disorderly conduct (midemeanor) as per the report from the Glenview Police Department. The pair were released on $75 bond, and are due to appear in court later this month. The lawsuit says the care home failed to follow accepted protocol. The attorneys working for the family commented that the care home failed to involve the police and didn’t call The State Ombudsman, they also failed to call the Illinois Department of Public Health, while also denying the elderly female had been traumatized which irrespective the video proved she had been and that the IDPH report confirmed The Abington failed to adhere to it’s ‘Abuse Prevention Policy’ and that the elderly female had suffered “degradation and shame”. The Abington is being sued for $1 million. Court records do not confirm whether the two care workers have attorneys.

How to prevent Elder Abuse

NEGLECT
Dirty or unkempt hair; torn and dirty clothes and/or climate-inappropriate clothes; strong body odor.
Bedsores
Hoarding
Missing dentures, spectacles or hearing aid, lack of medical care.
Malnutrition and/or dehydration
Has recently suffered the loss of a spouse, close friend or family member.

PHYSICAL ABUSE
Frequently picking up injuries such as burns, bruises, broken bones; Numerous bruises at different stages of healing (especially inner arms or thighs). Explanations seem unrealistic or implausible
Experiences pain when held or touched
Loss of bladder and bowel control
Does not mention friends or family.

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