ElderlyAbuse and Neglect
Elderlyabuse and neglect
Everyyear, it is estimated that thousands of elders and other dependentindividuals suffer from some form of neglect or abuse by a member oftheir family or their caretakers. The elderly includes allindividuals aged over 65 years of age while dependent individuals arepeople with mental and physical disability which require assistantfrom other individuals to life a normal life. Surprisingly, majorityof the neglects and abuses occur in their homes and are perpetratedby close relatives such as children, spouses or grandchildren (Rathuset al 2014).
Thereare several types of elderly abuse and neglect. Physical abuseinvolves any form of non accidental force against the individualwhich is likely to cause pain or injury, for example, confinement orassaults. Emotional abuses involve actions that affect thepsychological wellbeing of the dependent person. This may includeverbal abuse such as threats and ridicules or non verbal abuse suchas isolation and ignoring the elderly person (Mike & Preeti,2013). Sexual abuse involves any form of sexual contact without theelder’s consent. The elderly also suffers from neglect whichincludes a person responsible for providing physical andpsychological support or needs of an elderly or dependent personfailing to meet his or her obligation. Neglect is considered to be aform of abuse to dependent persons. The elderly also suffer fromfinancial exploitation and healthcare fraud (Brian, 2005).
Itis not easy to recognize signs of elderly abuse or neglect becausethey can be confused for symptoms of other conditions common amongthe elderly such as frailty or dementia. The caregivers will alsoexplain the signs of abuse as signs of certain conditions since thesigns will always over lap (Bulman, 2010). Some of the common signsinclude tension when communicating with the caregiver, changes inpersonality and behavior and unexplained physical injuries. Elderlyabuse and neglect is protected and punishable by the law. It is alsosocially and ethically wrong to abuse or neglect the senior anddependent members of the society. There are several organizationsthrough which elderly abuse and neglect can be reported. They include‘the center for elders and the courts’, ‘national committee forthe prevention of elder abuse’, ‘national center on elder abuse’and ‘adult protective services’ among others (Cook-Daniels,2003).
Brian,K. P. (2005). Crimeand elder abuse: an integrated perspective,Springfield, Ill.: Charles C Thomas.
Bulman,P. (2010). "Elder abuse emerges form the shadows of publicconsciousness."NIJJournal.265, 4-7.
Cook-Daniels,L. (2003). "2003 is the year elder abuse hits the internationalstate." Victimizationof the Elderly and Disabled.5, 65-66, 76.
Mike,B. & Preeti N. (2013). Crime,Abuse the Elderly,Routledge, ISBN 1135990344.
Rathus,S. A., Nevid, J. S., & Fichner-Rathus, L. (2014). HumanSexuality in a World of Diversity.Upper Saddle River: Pearson Education, Inc.