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Elder abuse 'errors' fear

29th August 2007

A new survey has indicated that some nurses remain wary of reporting cases of elder abuse because of fears over misinterpreting it.

Old Woman 400

The charity Help the Aged polled 850 private and NHS nurses and about 60% said they had sufficient concerns over the issues that might stop them making a report, while 26% cited fear of retribution from the abuser.

However, the charity said its poll found no evidence that abuse in hospitals or care homes was going unreported.

It is estimated that 350,000 older people are at risk in their home but the availability of statistics for care homes or hospitals – which this poll mainly examined – were limited.

Overall, the charity said the poll had positive findings and showed about 80% of the nurses were happy with the training they received and knew what to do if they suspected someone was being abused. They also had confidence that correct procedures would be followed if suspected incidents were reported.

Issues that staff said stopped them providing the best possible care for vulnerable adults were lack of training and responsibility for too many clients but more than 80% said they would feel happy for their parents or an elderly relative to be treated at their place of work.

The Royal College of Nursing urged nurses not to be afraid of upsetting or embarrassing the older person when they suspected a case of abuse as they had “a duty to safeguard and protect these patients.?

The Registered Nursing Homes Association said staff were now better trained than ever before.


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Article Information

Title: Elder abuse 'errors' fear
Author: Mark Nicholls
Article Id: 3909
Date Added: 29th Aug 2007


BBC News

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