Bedsores are a common problem for elderly individuals, especially for those who cannot get up and move about on their own. As constant pressure is put on the skin, sores can occur because there is a lack of oxygen and blood flow to the area. The skin will actually break down or die and this leads to sores that are very hard to heal. Patients who are in a nursing home setting and cannot move on their own are especially prone.
Staff at a nursing home are obligated to move a patient on a regular basis to help avoid the development of bedsores, but that does not mean they still do not happen. While staff members should be obligated to check patients for bedsores on a regular basis, it is also important for loved ones to be aware of the problem too. There are actually different levels of severity in these sores that can affect the patient in different ways.
Different Stages of Bedsores There are four stages of bedsores going from the least severe to the worst and as bedsores advance toward stage four, they become incredibly difficult to manage or eradicate. Stage I – At this stage, the bedsore is just beginning. The skin has not been broken, but a sore will appear as a red mark that is warm or cool to the touch. It may or may not be painful. On darker skinned individuals, it may appear purple or ashen instead of red.
Stage II – At this stage, the bedsore will become an open wound. The outer layer of skin has become sloughed away or destroyed and the dermis may show damage as well. It will usually be pink or red in color and shallow. Stage III – At this point, the bedsore will be deep. Skin loss is extremely serious and fat may be showing as well. The sore will be deep and the skin inside of the sore will be dead or yellow in color.
Stage IV – This is the worst type of bedsore. It can mean loss of tissue including muscle and tendons. At this point, muscle and tendon tissue and bone may be showing through the hole in the skin. Dead tissue may appear around the edges or at the bottom of the wound. Bedsores, if left untreated, will progress and, as they worsen, they become harder and harder to manage even by professional caretakers.
How Bedsores Can Be Treated The faster bedsores are identified the easier treatment will be to heal them. If the sore has reached stage IV, then it could actually take years for it to completely heal. In a nursing home facility, the staff will need to do the following: Reposition the patient regularly Clean any existing bedsores Bandage the wounds properly Negligence in the nursing home can result in infected bedsores that rapidly progress in severity.
If a nursing home staff member has been negligent, the bedsore will continue to worsen. In a case like this, the patient has not received the care required by the Nursing Home Reform Act and a lawsuit needs to be filed by the patient or a loved one. Bedsores are common in elderly individuals, but they should be avoided at all costs, especially in nursing home situation. If the staff at that facility does their proper duty to reposition the resident regularly, then bedsores should be very rare.
If the nursing home staff handles wound management properly, sores should not become a serious issue. However, negligence and nursing home abuse often takes the form of mismanagement or complete inaction when it comes to bedsores on patients.See Also: Different Types Of Scholarships
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Elder sexual abuse is understudied and rarely understood. Victims of elder sexual abuse frequently have medical conditions that cause memory loss, confusion, or problems with communication. Elder sexual abuse is an aspect of elder maltreatment that can involve multiple forms of abuse. It can include types of elder physical abuse and emotional abuse. Furthermore, it can be difficult to seek justice for elder sexual abuse.
Elder sexual abuse is defined as any unwanted sexual conduct against a person over the age of 60. The elder sexual abuse may cause harm by tricking, manipulating, or coercing the elder person into undesired sexual contact. This includes sexual contact with an elderly person that is unable to communicate consent or disapproval. NIJ Sexual Abuse Study Studies conducted by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) found that the older the victim was, the less likely it was for the sexual offender to actually be convicted.
The same NIJ study found that elder sexual abuse victims were less likely to be believed if there weren’t any signs of physical trauma. Lastly, elder sexual abuse victims living in nursing homes were the least likely to achieve a conviction for their perpetrators. Elder Sexual Abuse Offenders Elder sexual abuse research is limited. Research is made more complicated by the fact that many elder sexual abuse victims are unable to communicate the elder maltreatment.
Cases of elder sexual abuse have occurred involving nursing home assistants, live-in nurses, friends, family members, or any other type of care provider that is trusted to be alone with the elderly patient. Where Does Elder Sexual Abuse Happen? According to the National Elder Abuse Incidence Study of 1998, approximately 67% of elder sexual abusers were family members. Another study, published in the Journal of Abuse in 2000, estimated 12.
2% of elder sexual abuse victims were assaulted within their own home. Approximately 14.6% of elder sexual abuse victims were assaulted in the sexual offender’s home. The largest percentage of elder sexual abuse, around 70.7% of cases, occurred within nursing homes. Signs of Elder Sexual Abuse Indicators of elder sexual abuse can be both physical and behavioral, including: New emergence of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) New difficulty sitting or walking Pelvic injury Bruises on inner thighs or around the genital area Anal or genital pain, bleeding, or irritation Bloody, torn, or stained undergarments Extreme agitation Withdrawal from social interactions Panic attacks, or emerging post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms Inappropriate, aggressive, or unusual sexual behavior Inappropriate or unusual behavior, appearing as a sex-role relationship, between the victim and the elder sexual abuse suspect Suicide attempts Elder Sexual Abuse Statistics The Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape (PCAR) is one of the most active organizations investigating all forms of sexual abuse.
PCAR offers approximately 50 rape crisis centers across the state of Pennsylvania. The organization supplies the public with some of the most detailed research in the United States that focuses on elder sexual abuse. Through their continued research, PCAR discovered the following statistics regarding elder sexual abuse: – Only about 30% of all elder sexual abuse victims, over the age of 65, report their abusers to the police.
– Females are 6 times more likely than males to experience elder sexual abuse. – The majority of elder sexual abuse victims, roughly 83.3%, live in nursing homes or adult care facilities. – While 83.3% of elder sexual abuse victims live in some form of institutional care facility, 26.8% of those victims experienced the actual act of sexual abuse within a family home or the perpetrator’s home.
– Approximately 76.2% of elder sexual abuse cases have at least one witness. – In 81% of elder sexual abuse cases, the perpetrator was the actual caregiver to the elderly person. Sexual Abuse in Nursing Homes If elder sexual abuse is suspected, it is important to contact a government official for further investigation. As with elder emotional abuse, elder sexual abuse victims will be assigned a government-affiliated caregiver to investigate the accusations.
The state-assigned caregiver will ask the elderly person a series of questions providing insight on their relationships, mental stability, and current living environment. If elder sexual abuse is identified, patients will be relocated to another home environment and treated with medication or counseling. Sources: Benbow, Susan, and Peter Haddad. “Sexual abuse of the elderly mentally ill.” Medicine in the Elderly.
1993. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2399976/?page=1 Burgress, A.W. Elderly Victims of Sexual Abuse and Their Offenders. Final Report to the U.S. Department of Justice, Grant No. 2003-WG-BX-1007. https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/grants/216550.pdf Burgess, A.W., and N.P. Hanrahan. Identifying Forensic Markers in Elder Sexual Abuse. Final report to the National Institute of Justice, Grant No.
2001–IJ–CX–K015. “Elder sexual abuse.” Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape. PCAR – Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape. Web. 18 May 2013. http://www.pcar.org/elder-sexual-abuse “Elder Sexual Assault.” Blackburn Center – Against Domestic and Sexual Violence. Blackburn Center, n.d. Web. 30 May 2013. http://www.blackburncenter.org/elder_sa.asp “Sexual Abuse.” National Committee for the Prevention of Elder Abuse.
N.p., n.d. Web. 18 May 2013. http://www.preventelderabuse.org/elderabuse/s_abuse.html United States. Department of Aging. Addressing Elder Sexual Abuse: Developing a Community Response. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, 2007. Web. http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt?open=514&objID=616049&mode=2 United States. National Institute of Justice. Sexual Abuse of the Elderly. Office of Justice Programs, 2007.
Web. http://www.nij.gov/topics/crime/elder-abuse/sexual-abuse.htm “What is Elder Sexual Abuse.” Pittsburgh Action Against Rape. PAAR – Pittsburgh Action Against Rape, n.d. Web. 20 May 2013. http://paar.net/10