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Consumer Voice 2016 Conference

June 1, 2018

Elder Mistreatment and Responding to
Allegations of Abuse

In recognition of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) on June 15 this issue will highlight some new and revised NORC resources regarding abuse, neglect, and exploitation and share WEAAD promotional materials and events.

Sadly, older persons are not always treated with respect nor do they always get the care they need. Mistreatment occurs in various ways in long-term care facilities such as financial exploitation, neglect, retaliation, and resident-to-resident mistreatment. The Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program (LTCOP) identifies, investigates, and resolves complaints made by, or on behalf of individuals living in long-term care facilities. Complaints may include, but are not limited to, allegations of abuse, gross neglect, and exploitation. The NORC resources below were created to assist LTCOPs in providing resident-directed advocacy when investigating complaints involving allegations of abuse.

Resources for Ombudsman Program Representatives on Elder Mistreatment 

Reference Guide - Responding to Allegations of Abuse: Role and Responsibilities of the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program
This reference guide discusses how LTC Ombudsmen can respond to allegations and observations of abuse, neglect, and exploitation when the resident does not or cannot give consent to pursue the complaint.
This guide reviews the federal requirements and the LTCOP rule regarding complaint investigations and disclosure, highlights statements from the Administration on Aging, and provides advocacy strategies and additional resources.

Fact Sheet on Abuse, Neglect, and Exploitation 
This Consumer Voice fact sheet can be shared with residents, family members, and staff. The fact sheet provides a brief overview on how to report abuse and what to do after you have made the report.

Fact Sheet on the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program and What You Must Know
This fact sheet walks readers through what the long-term care ombudsman program is, what the Ombudsman program does and does not do, links to information on residents' rights, and some helpful FAQs. This fact sheet was devloped in partnership with The National Consumer Voice for Qualityy Long-Term Care and the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA). 

Training Materials: Abuse, Neglect, Exploitation, and Misappropriation of Property
These materials can be used in training by and for Ombudsman program representatives, for members of resident and family councils, facility in-service training, and community education.

Additional resources on elder mistreatment and abuse, neglect, and exploitation can be found here.

June 15 is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day 

Each year, an estimated 5 million older adults are abused, neglected, or exploited. Older Americans lose an estimated $2.6 billion or more annually due to elder financial abuse and exploitation, funds that could be used to pay for basic needs such as housing, food, and medical care. Unfortunately, it occurs in every demographic and can happen to anyone—a family member, a neighbor, even you. It is estimated that only one in five of these crimes are discovered.

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) was launched on June 15, 2006 by the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse and the World Health Organization at the United Nations (UN). WEAAD aims to provide an opportunity for communities around the world to promote a better understanding of abuse and neglect of older persons by raising awareness of the cultural, social, economic, and demographic processes affecting elder abuse and neglect. In addition, WEAAD is held in support of the UN International Plan of Action acknowledging the significance of elder abuse as a public health and human rights issue. This observance serves as a call-to-action for individuals, organizations, and communities to raise awareness about elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation.

Access the latest World Elder Abuse Awareness Day campaign materials available from the USC Center on Elder Mistreatment. Logos, web banners, stationary templates, sample press releases, and more are available.

Read archived issues of NORC Notes here. If you have a question, are not able to find a resource, or want to share training materials or program practices, please email ombudcenter@theconsumervoice.org.

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