Organizations of seniors and directors of residences have denounced this Thursday the lack of qualified personnel and have demanded a greater number of inspections to avoid cases like the one reported in a residence in Madrid in which at least two elderly women would have been mistreated.
The Office of the Public Prosecutor of Madrid has filed a complaint against three workers of a residence that the group Los Nogales has in the capital of Spain for physical and psychological abuse to two elderly women who were in charge after the son of one of them presented several videos in which you can see the humiliating treatment they suffered.
"Older people, although they do not have cognitive impairment, do not report, out of fear of reprisals and abandonment," Carmen García Revilla, of the Spanish Confederation of Elderly Organizations (CEOMA), told Efe that she recalled that 60% of people who live in residences have a dementia and therefore are defenseless.
Thus, "if there is no recording, it is very difficult to prove abuse." There is always justification for a bruise, which is attributed to a fall or a blow and even more so in the case of people with dementia, who can not express their feelings or what what is happening".
According to a study by Imserso, 13% of seniors would be suffering abuse and mistreatment. "The most frequent is the psychological or economic and the physical occurs less frequently," he explained.
In general, the authors of these mistreatments are the caregivers and the motive - according to the president of the Committee of Rights, Duties and Good Treatment of CEOMA - is that they do not have the adequate training, "they do not even show a special interest towards the person who They are taking care. "
Given this scenario, García Revilla believes it is essential that the staff working in the residences have a gerontological training and demand a "more committed" inspection service to the residences.
In the same sense has pronounced the coordinator of Studies of the Association of Directors and Managers of Social Services, Gustavo García, who has pointed out to Efe that professionals working in nursing homes should have the title of auxiliary geriatrics or a Professional accreditation based on years of experience.
García has acknowledged that it is impossible to completely avoid that something like what happened in this Madrid residence happens again, but he has pointed out a series of recommendations to take into account to minimize the risks.
Although one of them is the qualification, this director of a public residence has denounced the difficulties that the centers have to find qualified personnel and has warned that in the next 5 years 200,000 more residences would be needed, which would mean 100,000 new positions of work.
In fact, if half of the 100,000 people in Spain who are on the waiting list and have recognized the condition of a large dependent or severe dependent request a place in a residence, would be necessary 25,000 new jobs already, he said.
In order to minimize the risks of mistreatment to the elderly, it is necessary to promote an adequate management of the complaints of the workers as well as the inmates and family members, who "well managed are an opportunity for improvement".
Also the transparency with which the residences act is something that the relatives must take into account: "a residence that facilitates the access to everything to the relatives is trustworthy, but if they do not let you see the food, talk to whomever you request, that not good".
The Coordinator of Studies of the Association of Directors and Managers of Social Services insists that this is an isolated case and hopes that a "shadow of suspicion" will not be spread over all nursing homes, since most of those who work in these centers "they do their job well and they also care for him".
The organization of older people, for its part, demands a real commitment from the Government and the institutions to eradicate abuse in this group and calls for "the same measures and resources as for any other type of violence," such as male-female abuse.
"In gender violence there is a law, a telephone number and many resources, but for the elder there is nothing like that and therefore he is totally unprotected, he needs legal measures and attention when he denounces and after the denunciation". asserted the person in charge of CEOMA.