Beacon Hill Training

“Where knowledge meets experience”

What Causes Abuse in Care Homes?

Abuse takes many forms and may occur in any care home whether it be a home for the elderly or for those with disabilities.  The process and the cycles of escalating abuse are identical.   Here are some examples of abuse:

Physical abuse: rough handling including hitting, shaking, misuse of medication (forcing or hiding medication in food), poisoning, restraint / confinement.

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How Do I Become a McKenzie Friend?

Firstly, Why become a McKenzie Friend?

People typically want to become McKenzie friends because:

  • They have been through difficulties themselves and want to help other people
  • They wish to achieve change in the system
  • They might be part of an organization who is training their staff to become McKenzie friends

Whatever the reasons court is a difficult place to be, a lot of people seem to think that going along to support someone and just being strong for them is enough, unfortunately it isn’t.  The problem is that there is no standard as to what a McKenzie friend does, in seeing cases with McKenzie friends in court and speaking to people training with me there is a huge amount of variety, from people who know next to nothing about the court and the processes to people who are very knowledgeable and helpful to the client.  Unfortunately, most people having to go through the court process are generally clueless and don’t know the difference between someone who is supportive and someone who really can help them.

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What is Munchausens By Proxy?

One of the hardest areas of abuse to identify and to work with is Munchausen’s by Proxy, or  Fabricated illness.  It is seen as a rare, and so not one most people or professionals are not aware of it, even fewer actually understand it and know what to look for.  Because of this it is vastly under reported and often not identified … it is a form of abuse that is far more prevalent than most people would think, the problem is it is often unidentified.

Munchausen’s by Proxy is when a parent or carer for a child is for whatever reason making up (fabricating), or exaggerating a child’s condition.   This could be a male or a female carer, however the majority of cases do tend to be carried out by female carers, most often the mother of a child.  The reasons for this are unclear although it may be that it relates to how women view themselves in society as much as how society views and values them. 

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Attachment and Parenting

'Attachment theory' was first described by John Bowlby in 1969.   Basically a child attaches to its caregiver in order to survive.  

Attachment is the process of how a natural bond develops between child and carer.  Attachments are built between all those who care for a child from siblings or grandparents to the parent who cares most for a child.  Each attachment is important and each different from one another, there will be one person the child will have its principle attachment to, this would be the person who is there the majority of the time, such as the child’s mother or father.

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What is Fabricated Illness

One of the hardest areas of abuse to identify and to work with is Fabricated illness, or Munchausen’s by Proxy.  It is seen as a rare, and so not one most people or professionals are not aware of it, even fewer actually understand it and know what to look for.  Because of this it is vastly under reported and often not identified … it is a form of abuse that is far more prevalent than most people would think, the problem is it is often unidentified.

Fabricated illness is when a parent or carer for a child is for whatever reason making up (fabricating), or exaggerating a child’s condition.   This could be a male or a female carer, however the majority of cases do tend to be carried out by female carers, most often the mother of a child.  The reasons for this are unclear although it may be that it relates to how women view themselves in society as much as how society views and values them. 

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