Laws and Regulations
The laws and regulations on nursing home neglect and abuse are very extensive. There are multiple acts that support the law that explain what the laws are. They also will tell you what their role is in finding the right services for your loved one. One is the Protective Services for the Elderly. Protective Services for the Elderly is administered by the Division of Social Work Services within the Connecticut Department of Social Services. It helps make sure people age 60 and older stay safe from physical, mental, and emotional abuse, neglect, abandonment and/or financial abuse and exploitation.
Social Worker Plan
The Department’s Social Workers devise a plan of care aimed at enhancing an elder’s safety while preserving the person’s right of self-determination. Staff may help the person to remain in the living situation they prefer, safeguard legal rights, prevent bodily harm or injury, determine service needs and then mobilize resources to provide necessary services.
The Social Work Case Plan
The Social Work Case Plan involves a thorough assessment of the person and their situation; and may include crisis intervention, arranging for and coordinating services such as, adult day care, companion, counseling, homemaker, home health care, home delivered meals, long term care or, if necessary, emergency placement.
In extreme cases, the Department of Social Services can seek court authorization to provide services to a person who appears to “lack the capacity” to give consent to reasonable and necessary services to assure personal safety. Similarly, the department may apply to the Probate Court for the appointment of a conservator whose role is to make decisions on behalf of an incompetent person.
Commission on Aging
The Commission on Aging is a public policy and research office of the Connecticut General Assembly used for improving the quality of life for our elderly citizens. They are devoted to getting our state ready for the aging population while promoting policies that make better lives for the present and future generations of older adults.
The Legislative Commission is made up of of a resourceful team of 21 unpaid members, professional staff, and devoted volunteers. Since the Connecticut General Assembly created it in 1993, Connecticut’s Legislative Commission on Aging has served as a leader in statewide efforts to promote choice, independence and dignity for Connecticut’s elderly citizens.
Long Term Care Ombudsman
The state of Connecticut also has long term care ombudsman. You can report suspected abuse, neglect, or abandonment to them. The Connecticut Long Term Care Ombudsman Program protects and promotes the rights and quality of life for residents of skilled nursing facilities, residential care homes and managed residential care communities. The Regional Ombudsman, along with the volunteer resident advocate, provides a voice to residents’ concerns and just as importantly, empowers residents to have a voice in ensuring their rights.
This is accomplished through individual consultation and complaint resolution and also through work with other state agencies and advocacy organizations. The state ombudsman also works with policy makers, legislators and stakeholders to advance and improve systems and protections at the state level.
It is important that you report it to a mandated reporter. The list of mandated reporters is similar to the list for child abuse but it does have some different sources. You can report it to:
- Licensed physicians and surgeons or licensed or unlicensed residents and interns.
- Registered and licensed practical nurses.
- Nursing home administrators.
- Nurse’s aides.
- Anyone paid for providing care in a nursing home.
- Patient advocates.
- Medical examiners.
- Psychological and social workers.
- Police officers.
- Physical therapists.
When a mandated reporter has cause to suspect that someone age 60 or over has been a victim of neglect and abuse, they must report this to the Connecticut Department of Social Services or Protective Services for the Elderly within three days. Anyone required to report but doesn’t do so, can face a fine of up to $500.
Elder Protection and Abuse Prevention Plan
Today, there is an Elder Protection and Abuse Prevention Act. The act amends the Older Americans Act of 1965 to authorize federal help to state adult protective services programs, and for other reasons. It was put in place to help with the problem of elder abuse that is present in our country. It helps elderly citizens who have been abused.
Elder Abuse Laws
The laws and regulations on elder abuse are growing in our country and continue to make progress with the problem. There are several organizations that can help to make it easier on the person who has been abused and their family that might have to deal with it if they cannot do it on their own.