Vulnerability to elder abuse and neglect in assisted living facilities.Gerontologist 2003; 43(5):753-7G
The purpose of this study was to examine the decision-making abilities of residents in assisted living regarding abuse and neglect.
DESIGN AND METHODS
Twenty-seven residents in assisted living facilities were recruited for this descriptive study. Participants were administered an interview to assess baseline knowledge of support services, including ombudsman programs. They were next asked to watch videotaped scenarios of common types of elder abuse (physical, verbal, fiduciary, neglect) and asked to identify abusive situations. Finally, the participants were asked to develop a plan of action if they were to experience similar situations.
The results suggested poor awareness of available elder support services (M = 25%). Residents performed fairly well in the simple identification of the abusive situations (54%), but had difficulty generating acceptable strategies for handling abusive situations. Approximately 25% had no suggestion, 50% reported they would consult a family member, and 25% had nonspecific suggestions (e.g., talk to staff about problem).
The results of this study suggest that residents of assisted living facilities are poorly informed about protective services and uncertain about options if care were not optimal. Further work with larger samples is needed to confirm these results.