AMDA – The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine’s Statement in Response to CNN’s “Sick, Dying and Raped in America’s Nursing Homes”

February 22, 2017
Perry Gwen Meyers,

Today, CNN published “Sick, Dying and Raped in America’s Nursing Homes.” The report details disturbing accounts of sexual abuse of nursing home residents. AMDA – The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine emphatically condemns any type of abuse of post-acute and long-term care (PALTC) residents, and stands by its mission to promote and enhance the development of competent, compassionate, and committed medical practitioners and leaders to provide the highest quality, goal-centered care to patients and residents across all PALTC settings.

Adequate education, training, and leadership is vital to ensuring the safety, comfort, and quality of life of PALTC residents and patients. For 40 years, the Society has worked to:

  • Train practitioners to identify and report elder abuse – Society educational programs including the Annual Conference, and the Core Curriculum on Medical Direction in PALTC provide education on residents’ rights, elder mistreatment, and more.
  • Train practitioners to provide high-quality care to all patients, and to be aware and able to properly deal with issues made more complicated when treating patients with cognitive impairments. Sexual activity among residents in PALTC settings is a challenging topic for all parties. The Society continues to work on educational and policy initiatives to protect and better care for patients with cognitive impairments.

Post-acute patients and long-term care residents are some of health care’s most vulnerable– this is a frail elderly population presenting complex clinical needs and potential cognitive impairment, along with a wide variety of backgrounds and histories. Caring for these patients requires training specific to this population and setting of care, for all providers.

The Society believes that it is vitally important to provide patient-centered care in all circumstances, to all patients, listening to and investigating all complaints, concerns, and other comments by patients and family members. The Society will continue to train health care practitioners, advocate for them, their patients and family members, and educate the public, to advance its mission: A world in which all PALTC patients and residents receive the highest-quality, compassionate care for optimum health, function, and quality of life.