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Social Media Abuse of Elders

The public interest journalism website ProPublica has been reporting on a growing trend of disturbing social media abuse of elders in nursing homes. 

ProPublica has identified over 35 instances of inappropriate and unpermitted photos on social media since 2012. Inexplicably, many of the photos involved a resident's genitals or toileting, and some involved slapping, taunting and intimidating bedbound and wheelchair bound residents.

Three United States Senators have called on the Office for Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Senate Aging Committee, and the Attorney General to identify what they are doing to stop the inappropriate behavior. 

While abusive treatment is unfortunately far from new in long term care facilities, "the incidents illustrate the emerging threat that social media poses to patient privacy and, at the same time, its powerful potential for capturing transgressions that previously might have gone unrecorded." read more...

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