As the elderly become older and more physically frail, you’ll learn that they aren’t as able to defend themselves against attacks and bullying. For some, this makes them perfect targets. After CNA training, it will be up to your to stand up for those you care for, those who are mentally or physically weaker and subject to abuse by unscrupulous individuals.
What kind of elder abuse should you be on the lookout for after CNA training?
Elder Abuse After CNA Training
Physical Abuse- When most of us think of abuse, we first think of physical abuse. This is the type of abuse that occurs that can cause physical harm to another person. After CNA training, when you’re performing tasks to help patients get dressed, bathe, or use the bathroom, it’s important to keep an eye out for any signs that might indicate physical abuse. Some signs might be:
- Bruises or discoloration on the inner thigh or arm, choke marks
- Thumb or finger marks
- Bruises of different colors or new bruises in the same places as old bruises
- Bruises that could be caused by restraints like belts or cords
- Cuts, pinch marks, rope burns, fractures, cigarette burns, or cuts
Sexual Abuse- Sexual abuse doesn’t always leave marks, but it’s just as traumatic and harmful as physical abuse. This involves physical contact or actions that occur without the consent of the elderly person. After CNA training, it’s important to note that even forcing an elderly person to undress or showing them pornographic material without their consent is considered to be sexual abuse.
Neglect- This is a much more passive type of abuse and occurs when an elderly person is not taken can of by the individual who is responsible for their car. After CNA training, you’ll want to be on the lookout for signs of neglect, which can include:
- Poor dental hygiene
- Pressure sores
- Unexplained dehydration, malnutrition, or weight loss
- Unkempt appearance
- Dirty clothing
- Poor hygiene
Financial Abuse- After CNA training, it may be difficult for you to determine if financial abuse is occurring, unless you work in a patient’s home and help them with their finances. This is when someone uses the elderly person’s funds without the patient’s permission or for their benefit. Some signs that financial abuse is happening include:
- Cash missing
- Significant withdrawals being made from the patient’s checking or savings account
- Suspicious changes to titles or wills
What to do About Abuse After CNA Training
After CNA training, it’s your job to protect those you care for as much as you possibly can. If you notice any signs of abuse, no matter what kind, always report your findings or suspicions to your charge nurse. Keep in mind that the elderly person may be reluctant to report the abuse themselves, so it will be up to you. Don’t be passive. The longer you wait to do something, the more abuse can occur. Be an advocate for your patient after CNA training.