Elder abuse was largely ignored because it was seen as a social welfare issue. However, it has evolved into a public health and criminal justice challenge owing to the fact that it involves the violation of fundamental rights. It is an important matter to consider since this segment of the population is increasing in size as societies gain access to effective health services that prolong life.
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The Description of Elder Abuse
Elder abuse is the physical, psychological, or sexual abuse of older people. It also includes the financial manipulation and neglect by an institution or individual on the basis of disability or age (Stuckey, 2017). It is vital to note that these violations occur in a variety of settings such as care facilities, the community, or homes. They often manifest in scenarios where there is an expectation of trust or when unscrupulous entities target the individual in question
It is essential to note that some of the culprits associated with the vice work in long-term care facilities. The abuse of older residents by other inhabitants in these institutions is a well-recognized problem that is more prevalent than physical abuse by employees (Stuckey, 2017). In 2014, 7.6% of all the cases reported to the National Ombudsman Reporting System involved gross neglect, abuse, and financial exploitation (Stuckey, 2017). Other perpetrators include family members interested in profiting from the victim’s finances, caregivers tasked with meeting the older person’s needs, and hospital staff in various jurisdictions.
The signs of Elder Abuse
There are various signs that should alert a health professional to possible elder abuse. For instance, emotional and behavioral signs include changes in mannerisms, altered sleep patterns, depression, and anxiety. Physical pointers that are commonly seen are cuts, unexplained sexually transmitted illnesses, fractured bones, dehydration, and poor nutrition. Finally, financial indicators of mistreatment are pending bills, fake signatures on documents, inexplicable changes in the victim’s will, and strange bank account activity.
The Preventive Measures
Adult Protective Services Agencies are instrumental in ensuring that elder neglect and abuse are prevented. The institution of evidence-based policies and guidelines in the management of elderly patients in hospitals and care facilities ensures that the vice is minimized. In addition, screening for abuse in healthcare settings is essential because it raises service providers’ awareness of mistreatment and facilitates the provision of suitable services to affected clients. Finally, continuous professional education on the identification of elder abuse is an essential protective measure.
The Resources for Elder Abuse
Social service networks are an essential resource for elder abuse victims. In addition, private, voluntary, and charitable institutions that offer consultation and training services make important contributions to abuse victims’ care. The creation of a system designed to address cases of elder mistreatment is an essential step in ensuring vulnerable members of society are protected. Support groups and emergency shelters are beneficial because they offer affected individuals an avenue to share experiences which is critical in ensuring they recover from the psychological trauma associated with maltreatment.
Elder abuse is the violation of an elderly individual’s rights while in the community, at home, or in a care facility. The people implicated in these vile acts include hospital staff, family members, and other residents in healthcare institutions. Some of the signs associated with abuse are poor sleep, depression, unexpected changes in the victim’s will, and fractured bones. The vice can be prevented by implementing regulations outlined by agencies tasked with the protection of vulnerable members of the community.
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Stuckey, R. E. (2017). Elder abuse. JOJ Nursing & Health Care, 2(3), 1–3. Web.