You are a volunteer for your local Meals on Wheels program, and have been given the addresses of 5 individuals that you have to deliver meals to on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons.

When you visit one of your clients, Susie,  for the first time on Tuesday, you knock on the door and hear a voice on the other side of the door asking you to leave the meal outside the door, which you proceed to do.  When you come back to the address on Thursday, you hear two people arguing when you approach the door.  You ring the doorbell, and a person asks you to leave the hot meal outside the door, which you proceed to do again.

You come back to the address a week later, and when you ring the bell, a woman in a wheelchair opens the door and says she is Susie, your client.  she asks you to come into her home and put the hot meal on her kitchen table.  You notice that Susie has bruises up and down her arms, and is very unkempt in her appearance.  You try to talk to Susie to ask her if everything is ok, and if you can help her.  She realizes that you are looking at the bruises on her arms, and pulls a shawl around her shoulders so the bruises are not as visible.  She says she is ok, and doesn’t need any help, and thanks you for bringing her the food.

You have just heard a lecture in your HCMN 413 class on abuse of older and disabled adults, and possible solutions to the problem.  Would you ignore Susie’s bruises and the argument that you heard in her apartment the previous week, or would you do something about this possible issue?  Why or why not?  If you choose to report the situation, where would you go to share the information?

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