The abuse of elderly people in various environments is a significant issue. They are a vulnerable population category that often cannot defend themselves. At the same time, they often require high maintenance efforts due to poor health. As such, abuse can take the form of active malice, neglect, and other undesirable behaviors. This essay reflects on the nature of the issue, the causes, varieties, and possible interventions.
There are numerous varieties of abuse that target senior adults. Baker, Francis, Hairi, Othman, and Choo (2016) list the types as “psychological, physical, sexual abuse, neglect, and financial exploitation” (p. 1). These can be performed by family members as well as other caretakers. As such, people in any setting involving senior people should monitor their behavior. The actions of others also deserve scrutiny in case of unethical attitudes.
In outpatient care settings such as long-term care facilities and retirement homes, the actions of caretakers are usually monitored closely. As such, sexual abuse and financial exploitation are not likely, though they remain possibilities. Workers in such institutions should develop expertise in care and empathy. They should also attempt to avoid becoming overly detached. Such attitudes lead to neglect and emotional distance, which can unnoticeably become abuse.
Under the care of family members, seniors are exposed to all varieties of abuse. Furthermore, Baker et al. (2016) claim that the efficiency of elder abuse interventions is yet unproven. Nevertheless, non-professional caretakers should receive education on ways of addressing their charges’ concerns. Regular monitoring should also take place, both to monitor the quality of care and to evaluate the family’s attitudes. The lack of known efficiency should not prevent attempts to improve the situation.
The abuse of elderly people is a noteworthy concern due to the ease with which it can occur. It can take numerous forms and be intentional or accidental, but all varieties are unacceptable. Workers in professional settings should monitor their skills and attitudes to provide personal, quality care. Families should receive education and regular visits for check-ups and monitoring. A complete solution to the issues does not exist yet, but work towards it should continue.
Baker, P. R., Francis, D. P., Hairi, N. N., Othman, S., & Choo, W. Y. (2016). Interventions for preventing abuse in the elderly. Web.