DQ 8-2 responses
My initial thought about this situation is that the bruises the patient presents could be from something other than what the caregiver states. With that patient’s current medical conditions it is feasible that the bruises came from non-abuse activities however as a hospital administrator I would recommend a thorough investigation to ensure the safety of the patient currently in my facility. Elderly abuse is very serious and much too common. “Men and women are both at risk of elder abuse, although women are more likely to be abused—in fact, 2 out of 3 elder abuse victims are women. Those who have mental impairments are particularly vulnerable to abuse,” (Nursing Home Abuse Justice, 2019). First, I would ask to speak with the elderly patient separate from the caregiver, secondly I would ask to speak with the caregiver separate from the patient and third I would ask to speak with the medical staff whom handled the patient at my facility and then possibly are her nursing home. Even though the patient has advanced Alzheimer’s I would still require her statement regardless of lucidity. If I found that the patient was much too incoherent or the caregiver was much too illusive, I would contact Arizona Department of Economic Security and file a Vulnerable Adult report with Arizona Adult Protective Services. “Arizona Adult Protective Services (APS) is a program within the Division of Aging and Adult Services (DAAS) responsible for investigating allegations of abuse, exploitation and neglect of vulnerable adults. APS seeks to maintain the vulnerable adult in their current living environment and to strengthen their capacity for self-maintenance by referring them to supportive services to remedy any issues or challenges the adult may be experiencing. However, APS must always prioritize the duty to protect the safety of the vulnerable adult with the adult’s right to self-determination,” (DES, 2019). While conducting these interviews I would try to be as discrete as possible, not bringing any unwanted attention to the patient or the caregiver. I would also probably enact this type of investigation into our policy (if I was not already) for any elderly patient suspect of abuse. Referring to policy would then deter anyone from feeling singled out or profiled. This specifically is also how I would remain in compliance with ethical principles. If we followed this specific protocol for every elderly patient showing bruises, we would be keeping the patient’s best interest in mind while also protecting our medical staff from any malpractice claims. Ethically, caregivers may feel mistreated but if we are following protocol and doing our best for the patient, they cannot point the finger back at us.
Arizona Department of Economic Security (DES). (2019). Adult Protective Services (APS). Retrieved from https://des.az.gov/services/aging-and-adult/arizona-adult-protective-services-aps
Nursing Home Abuse Justice. (2019). Statistics on Nursing Home Abuse - Get the Facts You Need. Retrieved from https://www.nursinghomeabuse.org/nursing-home-abuse/statistics/