As a PCA you and your agency are mandated reporters of any abuse, neglect by another person, self neglect or exploitation you observe toward your client. A mandated reporter is a person who is required to make a report if there is a reason to believe that the client has been a victim of abuse, neglect, exploitation or abandonment. You must contact your supervisor immediately if you observe the client being mistreated by another caregiver, family member, friend or other person. Contact your supervisor if you suspect abuse, neglect, self neglect, exploitation or abandonment.
Abuse is when another person injures, intimidates or punishes the client resulting in physical harm, pain or mental anguish. Abuse can include sexual assault, physical assault and verbal abuse. The client should never be restrained or confined to a chair, room or other location.
Neglect means that care is not being given by family or others who are supposed to care for the client when other help is not in the home. It can mean that the client refuses necessary services which may create a risk to the client’s health or safety. You should report any home environment without heat, hot water, electricity and situations that may create a threat to life, health or safety such as lack of repairs, unsanitary or toxic conditions.
Self-neglect is when an individual neglects to take care of their basic needs, such as bathing, dressing, wearing clean clothing, eating, drinking, not going to the doctor when she/he is sick or not taking medications.
Exploitation is taking a client’s property without permission, the deliberate misplacement of client’s property or use of a client’s belongings or money without the client’s consent; deliberate damage, destruction, theft, misplacement or use of a client’s belongings or money without the client’s consent, including taking the client’s medications. The client’s money must be used on items the client needs such as food or medication.
Abandonment refers to a caregiver leaving an elderly person alone during a working shift or if the next caregiver does not show up for their shift and/or failing to perform personal care attendant duties.
If you become aware of any of these situations, you must report it immediately to your supervisor.