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New tool aims to help identify Louisiana elder abuse cases

Being able to document incidents in which the elderly have been abused may make those incidents less likely to happen. Louisiana senior citizens are some of the most vulnerable in society. Elder abuse can take many forms — physical, emotional and financial. A new tool called the Geriatric Injury Documentation Tool (Geri-IDT) aims to standardize the process for documenting elderly patients’ physical injuries. 

A recent study which culminated in the new tool, specified the need to have one way in which physical injuries should be documented, making medical records more well-rounded and with the ability to ascertain whether those injuries were from falls or other accidents or injuries that were inflicted upon patients by others. Photographs and diagrams are part of the Geri-IDT which will help in any elder abuse investigations. The tool is also expected to help doctors, prosecutors and detectives.

The standardized test may also help to disprove cases of abuse and help to exonerate care workers or other nursing home residents. Geri-IDT will make note of various issues such as the patient’s appearance before and after treatment given for injuries and any evidence that may rule out an abusive situation. It is hoped that Geri-IDT will result in better medical care for elderly patients.

The law does not take kindly to the mistreatment of senior citizens. Louisiana residents who suspect their elders are on the receiving end of any kind of abuse have the right to speak to an attorney about their options. A compassionate lawyer will review the evidence of each individual case and will advise a client on how to proceed legally if necessary. 

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