How do I report possible abuse? - AgingCare.com

How do I report possible abuse?

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My father is 89 and has dementia....some days he is good, some not so good. He is in a nursing home and when I went to visit him the other day, he had a noticeable bruise and deep indentation on the side of his nose where his glasses sit on his face. I asked him what happened and he told me someone smacked him in the face as he slept in his geri-chair. I asked him who did it and he said he didn't know (he sleeps with his blanket pulled completely over his head). I'm thinking it may have been another patient. I emailed the social worker of the facility to make her aware of the incident. My brother (who is our fathers guardian) is now upset because I brought this to their attention and he is concerned about the impending investigation. Was I wrong to let the social worker know about the incident? They're saying that the department of elderly services and the police may get involved.

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Dear Stephanie,

Thank goodness you were there to check on your dad's well being. He is in a very vulnerable situation. You did the right thing! It must be reported. What if the abuse escalates? He needs to be safe. None of us should remain silent when it comes to any possible abuse.
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I have a hard time believing a fellow who is in a nursing home for dementia - people with dementia make up stories to explain things they don't have an answer for any other way, and they may not even realize they are making up stories. I would have told the staff on duty and see what they said before taking it up any more notches. I think your brother is right. You need to let the home take care of it next time, and possibly apologize to the current admin for not understanding the realities and fantasies of dementia.
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Agree that each injury in a facility should be reported, documented and investigated.
That said, sometimes what the patient with dementia says and what exactly happened are entirely different. Is this the first time this has happened?
In addition to reporting it, keep a log of his bruises (take a pic) for future reference just in case.
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PS, I think I might have spoken to the care staff on duty before I emailed the social worker! But it doesn't matter: the social worker is part of the care team too.
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Stephanie I fell asleep on the sofa listening to the radio (it was a grey, dull afternoon) and woke up thinking "owwww." Sure enough, I hadn't taken my glasses off and the bridge piece was dug right into my nose (I've also bent the bit that holds the pad, which is annoying).

The mechanics of it are: your head falls to one side and rests on whatever surface it meets. That pushes the arm of the spectacles sideways, which pushes the the nose-pad on that same side hard against your nose. If the glasses fit well enough not to fall off, that's actually quite a rigid structure with the full weight of your head pressing on it.

I didn't have a noticeable bruise, but then I don't have an elder's very frail skin. But it definitely hurt!

So it would make perfect sense to me that your father dropped off to sleep and woke up with the distinct impression that someone had slugged him.

But actually that isn't the issue here. The issue is that you and your brother have noticed an injury (the injury is right there, plain to see; no one said anything about intention or blame) and asked the facility to check it out. Completely correct on your part. They should follow it up, and they should always follow it up, and there should be no question that they should do so and there should be no sign of impatience or resentment on their part. This is a matter of course, of routine, of everyday care. Do not feel terrible, and your brother must not be afraid of repercussions.
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My brother was there in the afternoon and saw it even before I did. I think he's just brushing it off, thinking dad may have done it himself. Who knows...he may have BUT I wanted the facility to know what my dad said happened. I think my brother is afraid the facility may try to kick our dad out of the facility (he was hard to place at the beginning of this dementia journey). Now, I feel terrible for reporting it...even though part of me KNOWS it was the right thing to do.
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Next time, snap a picture with your cell phone and send it to your brother. Try to stay on the same page with him, collect the evidence and share it.
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Of course you should bring this to the facility' s attention! What is your brother's line of thinking here?
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Sorry...I published the post before I had it finished. I edited it.
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To report a post, click on !Report below the post
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