This blog is dedicated to the memory of David Weintraub, who took on insidious astroturfers and won.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Elder abuse in care homes, a worrying pattern in society today

My first ever experience of nursing homes was at the tender age of 17. I was undertaking work experience at the time. I don`t remember much about it, but what I can remember is the smell of the place. The unmistakable smell of uric acid; pungent and lingering; to you and I, the smell of stale urine.

What does that tell you about the nursing home I was placed at? The elderly residents did not get to the toilet in time or that they had been left in that state for some time? From my experience, I know how crucial it is to ensure skin is kept clean and dry. Imagine what happens to the skin when in contact with urine for any length of time and the result will surely be sore skin.

I don`t like to look too much into the future, but maybe one day that elderly urine soaked patient sat in a nursing home could be you or me, or a family member, who knows?

For me, if there was no other way of taking care of myself and indeed it was deemed unsafe to remain at home, the option of spending the remains of one`s life in a care home setting is daunting.

I guess you would want reassurance that if it did happen, one would receive the utmost respect and care from health professionals.

The cost of such care is enormous. People often have to sell their homes and give up on the things that they have set a life time working for. With the world population living longer, the demand for care homes will rise.

This is not intended to be a sob story but is a truth that is happening right now in some care homes, not just here in the UK, but globally. Subtle, unseen behind closed doors, there appears a crisis of conscience, a crisis of cruelty, a crisis of no respect for our elders.

I am talking about some of the carers who are supposed to be protecting such defenceless and vulnerable people.

When you hear about neglect and abuse, the terms may conjure up horror stories to some of you, those of you whom have experienced this with family members? The terms neglect and abuse can have multiple meanings, so for this I provide a quote, which I believe is most relevant to what I am discussing:


Worrying statistics from the US alone show a hellishly high number of abuse cases.

What can be done about this kind of trauma happening time and time again with seemingly little punishment for the perpetrators?

How about CCTV cameras being installed in care homes? Would that put potential offenders off? Well, I`m not keen on this big brother thing but it could serve a purpose.

Back in 2004, a study conducted by Cottle discussed the issues of installing "granny cams".  (see full findings here)

Now, some states in the US already use them. I am unsure how many, but cost may be one huge impediment. Maybe heads of state ought to pour money into this?

What do the care workers think about installing cameras to watch them? Well, one sample of 2000 workers were uneasy about having cameras installed in individual rooms. I wonder why?

I want to show the stark and painful images caught on video by family members who were concerned their loved ones were having money stolen from them. What they found was far far worse.

                                   Elder abuse in the Uk secretly filmed (youtube link)

And this one is video proof of a 96 year old elderly American woman tortured by two nurses.

   96-year-old Elderly Woman Tortured By 2 Nurses in OKC (youtube link)

Just two instances alone is enough to view, but there are far too many others to see.

And these people are supposed to be carers? What would I do with them, for inflicting such torment and pain on those who cannot defend themselves? Perhaps I could string them up, see how they would like to be physically and mentally abused? What would you do? I am no vigilante, but God it makes me angry. What if I went undercover, filmed secretly, complained, whistle blowed or became an inspector? You see, the problem with anything like this is people hate being complained about-how often does one get ostracised because of it? Seen as a trouble maker even.

Do these people know what dignity means, trust I ponder. What will make things change?

Will it take change in the law and better staff training? Whilst poor pay, low morale and lack of support may play roles in abuse and neglect, how can any of those ever be used as an excuse?

I do want to be clear on this issue. I am not in any way saying that all nursing homes are bad, because they are not.

Institutionalised abuse is a crime against humanity, of common decency and I do not discuss this as an outsider but as one who has experienced this. I know first hand how vulnerable elders can be. Shame on you who think you have a right to abuse.

1 comment:

donkeytale said...

One thing lost in the hubbub already created by our Dear Leader is the extreme fragility of the founding neocons' parchment paper.

Remember the Tea Party? Ostensibly, they demanded a return to the strict reading of the Constitution when the Black African Maoist Muslim ocupied the oval office.

Now as we behold the reign of King Rusty Staub II?

Not so much.

According to many reports, such agencies as the Border Patrol and the all-volunteer US Military were yuge backers of the the Mango Mussolini at election time.

Now, there are at least some reports in the MSM (waves at the Graun) stating Border Patrol agents are disregarding the Federal Court's Saturday decision to suspend at least some parts of the clearly unconstitutional Executive Order and going about their heinous business of detaining immigrants from certain majority Muslim countries. The rest of the parts will be considered later when lawyers for both sides have a chance to review and make legal arguments both yay and nay.

Sure, this is only temporary until we can get extreme vetting of these poor huddled masses.

For now.

If I'm ISIS (or James Comey's always-willing-to-assist FBI perhaps) I'm working quadruple time to find someone in the US from one of these countries to perform a heinous act of mass murder and mayhem stat just to secure the deal.

Besides, what would truly happen if vital government agencies simply ignore the courts and follow the executive order no matter what the 3rd branch rules?

This would be the flip side of the old 60s shibboleth "suppose they gave a war and nobody came?"

What if Trumps decides to issue an executive order to declare war on ISIS in active military partnership with Russia and simply decides to ignore Congress? Oh wait.....Obummer has already set that precedent in Libya......

But what if the simmering protest movement afoot in the new fascist era accelerates into street violence (a pretty good bet if this shiite continues)?

What if Trump decides to employ regular US Army units to quell domestic outbursts and declares martial law? What if he suspends habeas corpus with an executive order even if all flowered up in some BS legalese like this EO against Muslims?

You see where I'm going.

We are a nation of laws? Uhm, not really. We are a nation of raw power by and for the powerful that always finds ways to circumvent any inconvenient facts solely for the enhancement of more raw power at the expense of the powerless.

Reading the cannabis leaves one can see the future quickly evolving in this manner before anyone has the opportunity to redress grievances.

Can the US survive a Trump Presidency or will it split in two again as during the Civil War, only permanently this time around?

Will there be another Civil War? This time so lopsided given the extreme might of the all-volunteer US Armed Forces?

Maybe not. Maybe sensible Republicans (an oxymoron) will link arms with the dissident left and come to the aid of the nation's ideals (while monkeys fly out my butt) and then.....impeach Trump?

Alas, this will simply lead to Pence. A worse result than Trump.

Or will Trump simply "executive order" Congress into oblivion at that point?

Donald Trump is the first President elected by way of the internet. History may or may not end with his coming. However, fo shizzle the Frostian fork has now jumped the shark from screen monitor to the road.

Thanks for this venting opportunity of internet bred paranoia.

Now back to regularly scheduled programming. Keep up the great work on behalf of us all.

I'm dunn.