Saturday, December 3, 2016

Elder Abuse Often Missed In ER

FRIDAY, Nov. 25, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- About 10 percent of American seniors suffer elder abuse, yet the problem is often missed in hospital emergency departments, a new study finds.

Researchers reviewed national data and found that emergency doctors make a formal diagnosis of such cases in only 1 of 7,700 visits by seniors.

"These findings indicate that the vast majority of victims of elder abuse pass through the emergency department without the problem being identified," study senior author Dr. Timothy Platts-Mills, an assistant professor of emergency medicine at the University of North Carolina's School of Medicine, said in a school news release.

"Emergency physicians strive to make sure that for each patient who comes through the door, all serious and life-threatening conditions are identified and addressed. For elder abuse, EDs across the country are falling short," he added. Platts-Mills is also co-director of the division of geriatric emergency medicine at the university.

The authors of the study noted that victims of elder abuse typically don't receive routine care from a primary care doctor and often depend on the emergency department.

Each year in the United States, seniors make more than 23 million emergency department visits. That means emergency departments can play an important role in identifying elder abuse and taking steps to ensure the safety of these patients and fulfill their unmet health care needs, according to the researchers.

Identifying elder abuse can be difficult. Seniors who are physically frail or have mental impairment are prone to injury and may have difficulty caring for themselves, Platts-Mills explained.

"It can be very difficult distinguishing whether a bruise is from a fall or physical abuse, or whether poor hygiene is a result of a patient asking to be left alone or the result of overt neglect on the part of a care provider," he said.

"But those difficulties don't change the reality that elder abuse is common, takes a tremendous toll on its victims, and is frequently missed," Platts-Mills concluded.

Full Article & Source:
Elder Abuse Often Missed In ER


Finny said...

This is because the elderly are nearly invisible.

Anonymous said...

From experience with my elderly mother in Florida, I can state this is because No One wants to get involved. This includes the patients long-time doctors, hospital staff,and a host of others. This is because these guardians (and their buddy attorneys and judges) take the easy way out. One doctor actually told me he has seen these atrocities happen over and over again, but there is nothing to b done about it. The guardian has usurped the elderly person's signed and notarized directives, with the judge's questions asked ! So some of the good doctors realize they will be removed from the patient's case, an unknowing, uncaring doctor, usually with little experience, sometimes no properly licensed, gets chosen by these for-profit guardians, and thus leads to the demise of our loved ones.I want to name names...of each guardian who is guilty of stealing the elderly patients' money, with no oversight by the courts. And if we do ask for an accounting, we are threatened with very high
legal fees just for asking for what is right. There is no accountability, and yes, the judge are very largely at fault. I wonder how they would deal if the tables were turned on them. It is time to name names, and provide facts, proof, and details. Anyone in ?

Juan said...

I agree Finny. This is a symptom of a society which has lost its respect for the elderly.

tvfields said...

I address this very problem in the 1-page handout at, where I link a 3-minute video recorded in the emergency room of a hospital and the ABC News report of the recorded situation.

Anonymous said...

TRUE! I agree with Anonymous! The Elder Abuse who has Power of Attorney has abused his/her power! This is like a ticket to get away with their wrongdoings against the Elderly and that includes THEFT of the Elderly's bank accounts, homes and other valuable properties that will be SOLD with out the Elderly knowing it cuz they got tricked into signing the deed of their home over to the DEMON ELDER ABUSER!