The rise of social media has made way for good and bad developments. Unfortunately, one such development has been the increase in the abuse of elderly patients.
To some, this notion may seem a bit farfetched. However, nursing home abuse through social media is real.
Social media use
Many users view social media as a means for people to share their lives with others, which in many cases is the intent. However, when that freedom to share includes embarrassing depictions of others, it is inappropriate. In some cases, it may even be humiliating or dehumanizing. For example, there have been several cases of caregivers sharing images of them aiding disabled elderly patients with their personal care. This is not acceptable.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is a federal government agency that oversees a number of health service programs. Along with overseeing the administration of these health programs, the CMS is in charge of ensuring the proper care of participants. Therefore, they are intentional about preserving patients' rights so that all nursing home residents may maintain their dignity and receive the respect that they deserve. For this reason, the CMS is striving to address the rise in abuse of patients through social media by seeking modifications to regulations, which will require care facilities and companies to update or include social media clauses in their business practices and employee requirements.
Need for reporting
Though regulating bodies have been able to catch and penalize a number of offenders, there are those who may go undetected. In order to bring the offending parties to justice, it is critical that those who witness the offensive depictions report them to the proper authorities.
Though the CMS is working hard to stop this activity, it is up to everyone to do his or her part. Hopefully, as more companies and witnesses get on board, the collaborative efforts will help end this intolerable abuse.