The nursing home abuse problem also plagues veterans and their families. This segment of society fought for their country and now nursing homes are areas of abuse for them.
The name for Veterans Administration (VA) homes is “VA Community Living Centers” and seeks to provide compassionate care to veterans who meet the following criteria: veterans with chronic stable conditions such as dementia, those requiring rehabilitation or short term specialized services such as respite or intravenous therapy, or those who need comfort and care at the end of life.
This means that veterans being served by the VA in homes operated by the Administration are particularly vulnerable to elder abuse. The residents of such communities have declined physically or mentally to such a degree that those who perform acts of abuse generally do so without fear of retribution or of even being discovered and places our veterans in a difficult and often defenseless position. Veterans in this age group are very likely to be of low income and cannot just move to another home, they need to be in a subsidized home.
Physical abuse of elderly veterans is a significant problem in VA facilities. When considering the weakened state of many veterans who require a bed in a VA nursing home, the mildest physical abuse can result in death if the injuries are neglected. Oftentimes, an elderly patient may suffer nursing home abuse through the inadvertent administration of inappropriate drugs or the use of physical restraints.
Emotional abuse of elderly veterans is a recurring issue with care providers in VA facilities. As veterans grow older, memories of their wartime experiences may result in a state of anxiety or fear, similar to post-traumatic stress syndrome. Without help of some kind, this too can be called nursing home abuse. This sensibility leaves the veteran more susceptible to abuse from employees through verbal language, ridicule and humiliations.
Financial fraud is another form of abuse that may have a devastating effect on veterans. While the financial welfare of elderly persons may vary widely, veterans of the United States Armed Forces are generally recipients of Veterans Administration benefits, and these benefits are often the target of financial fraud and elaborate schemes to defraud elderly veterans of monthly checks or other VA benefits. This amounts to the theft of a person’s sole means of financial independence.
Many people don’t think of it, but identity theft can be a problem for these veterans. It is common for a caregiver in a government-run facility like a VA nursing home to have access to sensitive personal information. A government employee with particularly high-level access to a nursing home resident’s personal information might succeed in taking over the financial life of the victim
All forms of to nursing home and elder abuse are crimes, and they should be reported immediately. Abuse in homes such as those operated by the Veterans Administration should be reported to the administrators of the facility. VA homes have well-established procedures for reporting and following up on cases of nursing home abuse.