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AJN The American Journal of Nursing. 108(12):52-59, December 2008
Mistreatment of older adults includes far more than obvious physical cruelty and encompasses neglect, financial mismanagement, abandonment and emotional abuse. These may be far more difficult to detect than physical injury and patients might be reluctant to report mistreatment when doing so may well result in a need to move to an institutional setting. Careful screening can not only identify victims of mistreatment and abusers, but can also identify ways in which family caregivers can be educated and supported in order to allow older adults to remain in a home setting. Screening for such a difficult and sensitive issue is demonstrated in this video using the Elder Mistreatment Assessment and involves a woman who is more fearful of having to move out of her own home than the implications of falling or remaining soiled in overnight when left alone by her daughter. Viewers will be challenged with both the ethical and legal implications that result from this assessment.
For you, the thought of a warm bath or shower is probably a treat anticipated to provide comfort and relaxation. How unfortunate that for those with dementia, the bathing experience may be a painful, frightening, and humiliating procedure.
With planning and a process customized to address each person’s unique needs, or a person-centered approach, older adults with dementia can be spared a negative experience. This 30-minute program is based on the April 2006 New Look at the Old AJN article by Joanne Rader MN, RN, et al, titled: The Bathing Of Older Adults with Dementia. The video outlines cutting-edge research and presents best practices in bathing from researchers and practitioners, as well as guidance from the perspective of a state regulatory agency on what actually constitutes compliance with relevant standards of care.
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