Mitigating Nursing Home Abuse Through “COACHing”?

Whether an older adult with a chronic health condition is residing in a skilled nursing facility, assisted-living facility, memory-care facility, or other location in Los Angeles County, studies have shown that these seniors tend to be more vulnerable to abuse and neglect. In particular, older adults with dementia and other forms of cognitive impairment are often targets of elder abuse in nursing homes and related facilities, and their conditions frequently prevent them from recognizing or reporting the abuse themselves. Yet, according to a recent article in McKnight’s Long-Term Care News, a new study focused on the Comprehensive Older Adult and Caregiver Help (COACH) method might be able to reduce the likelihood of physical and emotional abuse. 

Could this method also be applicable to caregivers who are employed by nursing homes and assisted-living facilities in Southern California? Our Los Angeles County nursing home abuse and neglect lawyers can say more.  

Learning About the COACH Method

What is the COACH method, and how can it prevent elder abuse and neglect in general? As the McKnight’s article explains, the COACH method is designed to train caregivers to “give high-quality care while mitigating any impacts of caregiving that may lead them to be abusive.” In addition, the method “empowers caregivers to be on alert against elder mistreatment from other parties.” But what is COACH, exactly?

According to the authors of the new study discussed by McKnight’s, COACH can be described as “a multi-component, person-centered, strengths-based education and social support intervention for caregivers.” In the study, it was administered by “care coaches” who had specific training in “motivational interviewing and active listening,” and it involved meeting with caregivers on a weekly basis for 12 weeks to learn more about caregivers’ concerns and experiences. The care coach and caregiver, early on in the process, designed a “personalized plan of topics to be covered during the 3-12 weekly sessions,” and then they created a “Caregiver Toolkit” together that was tailored to the particular strengths and needs of the caregiver and their experiences. As such, the COACH method is a bespoke method to prevent elder abuse that focuses on a caregiver’s background and experiences.

Implementing COACH in Nursing Homes and Assisted-Living Facilities?

Could the COACH method be implemented in nursing homes and assisted living facilities? The study suggests that the process is quite involved and could be time-consuming and costly but that it has clear and obvious benefits. As such, it could be worth the investment if such an investment is possible. 

Indeed, the new study, which was published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, suggests that investing in this method could improve the quality of life for older residents in facilities and caregivers alike, and could potentially reduce the level of burnout in these jobs that tends to be linked to inadequate staffing and passive neglect injuries as well.  

Contact a Los Angeles County Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Lawyer Today

If you have any concerns about your elderly loved one’s safety or care in a nursing home, or if you want to learn more about rights and responsibilities concerning nursing home care and abuse complaints, one of the experienced Los Angeles County nursing home abuse lawyers at our firm can help. Contact the Walton Law Firm today to ask any pressing questions and to receive help if you are worried about an elderly loved one.


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