Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation

As caregivers one of your biggest responsibilities is to protect your residents from abuse, neglect or exploitation.  Sometimes we may not even be aware or realize that abuse, neglect or exploitation is occurring.  Below we have listed some of the common things to look for that would indicate that abuse, neglect or exploitation is possibly taking place.   They are:

Financial Indicators:

1.  Evidence of unnecessary services  
2.  Unexplained withdrawals from the resident’s savings or checking account
3.  Changes in the caregivers financial or legal status 
4.  The disappearance of  the resident’s valuables
5.  Unusual contributions to outside entities
Physical Indicators:

1.  Signs of improper medication
2.  Signs and/ or evidence of malnutrition or dehydration
3.  Fractures, bruises or burns
4.  Exposure injuries such as hypothermia  
5.  Sign of injuries that would be impossible to get

Psychological Indicators:

1.  Ongoing signs of resident being upset either before , during or after a caregiver’s shift
2.  Having too much concern for what the caregiver wants
3.  The onset of fears or phobias
4.  Hyper-alertness (hypervigilance) on the part of the caregiver  

Of course, there are many other ways that abuse, neglect, or exploitation can occur.  The bottom line is to be on the lookout and take signs of abuse, neglect or exploitation seriously.  

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