The journal.ie recently published an article detailing a catalogue of “mistreatment” against residents in nursing homes. (http://www.thejournal.ie/hiqa-elderly-complaints-4142654-Jul2018/)

The article makes for very distressing reading as it details a series of mistreatment’s and assaults carried out against vulnerable older residents by healthcare staff. The data is contained in documents concerning “unsolicited” information received by HIQA in relation to older person’s services from January to June 2018.

HIQA (Health Information and Quality Authority) is responsible for monitoring, inspecting and registering designated care centers for older people (and people with a learning disability) in Ireland.

The distressing catalogue contains complaints about issues such as physical and sexual abuse, neglect, poor staffing levels and standards, concerns over food and nutrition and a general lack of good basic care. Concerns about falls safety and hygiene (particularly in relation to continence issues and soiling) were also received by HIQA.

Imagine how life must be for these residents who have experienced such appalling mistreatment at a stage of life when they need support and help, not abuse and neglect from the people employed to care for them. It is a huge breach of trust and they deserve much better in their advancing years. Many people in residential care are vulnerable not just due to ageing but also due to the many chronic illnesses that affect them. Dementia, Parkinson’s and Stroke for example can leave a person very dependent on the people providing the care and this dependency in turn creates vulnerability.

There is NO Excuse for this behaviour from professional healthcare workers.

The HSE has called for “No Tolerance” for any type of abuse of a vulnerable adult and has safeguarding teams in situ in CHO areas around the country.

It has identified 7 categories of abuse and also details what to look out for and how to report concerns.

For more information and training on “Safeguarding the Vulnerable at Risk of Abuse” clink on the following link.https://kinsellaleadershipdevelopment.ie/product/safeguarding-vulnerable-persons-risk-abuse-healthcare-skills/