Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Elder Abuse In Nursing Homes: How to Spot It and What To Do

The term “elder abuse” can refer to several forms of abuse and occurs in homes, relatives’ homes and even in nursing homes of elderly adults. As men and women age and become dependent on others’ care, there are unscrupulous caregivers out there who take advantage of the situation. In the United States, more than half a million reports of abuse against the elderly reach authorities every year, meaning that several thousand cases go unreported.

Here are some of the different forms of elder abuse:

  1. Physical Abuse: Non-accidental use of force against an elderly person that results in physical pain, injury or impairment. This not only refers to physical assaults but also the inappropriate use of drugs, restraints, or confinement.
  2. Emotional Abuse: The way people speak to or treat elderly people in ways that cause emotional pain or distress. Verbal forms include intimidation through yelling, humiliation and habitual blaming. Nonverbal forms include ignoring the elderly person, isolation and terrorizing.
  3. Sexual Abuse: Contact without the elder’s consent. Such contact can involve physical sex acts, but also includes showing an elderly person pornographic material, forcing the person to watch sex acts or forcing the elder to undress.
  4. Neglect: Refers to the failure to fulfill a caretaking obligation and constitutes more than half of all reported cases of elder abuse. It can be intentional or unintentional.
  5. Financial Exploitation: The unauthorized use of an elderly person’s funds or property. Examples include misuse of an elder’s personal checks, credit cards or accounts, stolen cash, forging of the elder’s signature and identity theft.
  6. Healthcare Fraud and Abuse: Carried out by unethical doctors, nurses, hospital personnel, and other professional care providers. Examples include not providing healthcare but charging for it, overcharging or double-billing, getting kickbacks for referrals to other providers, overmedicating and Medicaid fraud.

In short, there are several forms of elder abuse, all of which can be very serious concerns in any elderly living scenario. Knowing the different forms of elder abuse is the first step. There are several ways to recognize if your loved ones are suffering if you are unsure. Then, alerting the right people is the crucial part.

Find Elder Abuse Resources to help further guide you and check out this Infograph to learn more.

Friday, May 17, 2013

How To Volunteer in a Nursing Home

The term "nursing home" doesn't always evoke the most positive or exciting feelings at first. Full-time senior care facilities are termed nursing homes due to the fact that the people who live in them are provided with a nurse's care. Interestingly enough, nurses aren't the only caregivers. Aside from the obvious medical care, nursing homes rely on volunteers to interact with their residents. Activities run by volunteers serve as an integral part in helping residents feel at home and cared for.

So, what are the basic requirements, duties and benefits of working as a nursing home volunteer? Here are some interesting things to consider:


  • The specific requirements can vary within even a single city, so make sure you know the ins and outs of what's needed at your specific nursing home before beginning to volunteer.
  • You should love being around older people, the main purpose of volunteers is to engage the residents, and that's best done when you're enjoying yourself!
  • Knowledge of how to play card games is important, like bridge or Canasta. These are activities that take much more mental energy than a physical one, which is usually better.
  • Some positions may have age stipulations, a common age requirement for younger volunteers is 15.
  • Knowing how to steer a wheelchair is also a good skill to have when volunteering in nursing homes.
  • Some nursing homes may require more training, especially when working with hospice patients, being mentally ready for an emergency or worse is also a good idea. This type of volunteering can be emotionally draining as well.


  • Help run games, such as calling out numbers and helping players find them on their cards while playing bingo.
  • Give manicures, many elderly women love to have their nails done. It is a simple way to make someone feel young and pretty again.
  • Cleaning and tidying up is always a huge help for nursing home staff.
  • Personal relationships are so important to residents and their well being. Working with the same person and building a relationship is often the best way to go about volunteering.


  • Making new friends! Spending time with the same people consistently almost always leads to good friendships.
  • Know that you are improving the lives of the people you meet, moving away from your home and losing your independence is not an easy transition for residents.
  • Job experience, by working with a well-respected organization like a nursing home, you can add the position to your resume or list of references.
  • Invaluable service to your community.

If you are interested about learning more, finding local nursing homes or searching for local volunteer opportunities visit: http://local-nursing-homes.com

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Nursing Homes Charity Spotlight: TAFA

The statistics are staggering. Over half of those living in nursing homes will pass away without a friend. The Turn-A-Frown-Around Foundation, Inc (TAFA) decided that people living in nursing homes, psychiatric wards and partial care programs need and deserve a friend. TAFA’s mission is to help isolated individuals attain a sense of hope and well-being through the affirmation and recognition of others. They do this by matching caregivers, mostly volunteers, who bring love, laughter and a listening ear to those who need it.

Started by Drew Horn in August of 2001, a self-proclaimed “motivational, inspirational comic and clown,” TAFA continues to draw its motivation from Mother Teresa and Patch Adams, both individuals who found ways to bring light into others lives. Some of TAFA’s activities include:

  • Personal visits and being a Forever Friend
  • Phone buddies
  • Emails to the lonely
  • Motivational comedy
  • Skits
  • Songs
  • Performances that showcase the talents of volunteers

Nursing home residents often find themselves feeling isolated or forgotten. The Forever Friend program allows volunteers to spend time with residents at nursing homes who are without family, friends or visitors, hoping to help them feel more connected and loved. The program requires Forever Friends to visit their assigned friend for at least 20 minutes a week. If you are interested in learning more about ways to help in TAFA’s mission, visit http://turnafrownaround.org/help_out/index.html.

Local Nursing Homes offers special flowers and gifts http://local-nursing-homes.com/flowers to send your loved one at any time. You can also check out different volunteer opportunities here: http://local-nursing-homes.com/nursing-homes-volunteer