Discussion Elder abuse

Discussion Elder abuse

Elder abuse has become a growing concern as the American population ages, and the elderly comprise a larger percentage.

  • Discuss the various forms of elder abuse and the court decisions that have helped to define elder abuse and standards of care.
  • Read the case study in Exercise 20–4, “Witnessing Patient Abuse,” (Guido, p. 437) of Legal and Ethical Issues in Nursing text, and then respond to the following questions:
    • Did the elder abuse in the case study constitute civil or criminal abuse? State the rationale for your position.
    • Ethically, how should the elder resident in the case study have been treated? What ethical principles were violated in the case?

Your initial post is to be about 150 words, referenced with at least one APA formatted reference.

Please include in the reference section:

Guido, G. (2014). Legal and Ethical Issues in Nursing. Vancouver: Pearson.


Ethical Scenario 20–4 Witnessing Patient Abuse

An 83-year-old resident of a nursing home was physically in good health but had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. At times, this resident would become confused and wander toward the nursing home doors, looking for her parents and a way to exit the facility.

To prevent her from leaving the nursing home, the resident was fitted with a special bracelet that automatically locked an outer door if she came within 30 feet of the door. For fire-safety purposes, the door automatically unlocked within a 15-second time frame. Thus, staff members had a 15-second time frame to notice an elopement attempt and redirect the resident.

Early one morning, the resident was trying to get through the door, and a staff member came up behind her, slapped her on the buttocks, grabbed her by the shoulders, turned her around, and shoved her back into an interior hallway. This episode was reported to the director of nurses.

The director interviewed the other nursing staff members who were present during this incident; the director also examined the resident, noting that a red mark was on the resident’s buttocks. The director then reported the nursing staff member to the proper state agency, and the staff member was charged with criminal abuse of a nursing home resident.

Without argument, the treatment of this patient was abusive. You are one of the nurses who witnessed and later testified to this incident. Ethically, what should you have done at the time of the incident? How might you have prevented the overt abuse that the resident encountered? What are your and your peer nurses’ ethical responsibilities to ensure such an incident would not occur again?