experience subtle or covert abuse, which also includes actions such as, being harassed by staff, being controlled by drugs or restraints, having no control over-bathing or feeding times or what they wear, and being placed in isolation, especially if they are aggressive or difficult to care for.
Older adults today are vibrant, independent and living longer, and in better health than their ancestors. However, as the population grows, so does issues that concern their care. Caregivers must cope with the stressful economic and personal burdens when caring for the elderly. This burdens always put the elderly at risk of abuse, exploitation, and neglect.
Consider the following grim statistic;
(Acierno et al. 2010; American Psychological Association (APA), 2012; Grose & Caple, 2011; National Center for Victims of Crime, 2011; National Center for Elder Abuse, 2011a; Walsh, Olson, Ploeg, Lohfeld, & MacMillan, 2011)
Since abused elderly individuals are often reluctant to report abuse, the incidences of abuse are likely to be under-reported, underestimated and not well documented. However, there are signs that may indicate neglect or abuse. These include;
Acting against elder abuse.
Whenever abuse is detected, it is critical that the finder documents every finding, and make the necessary reporting to the relevant authorities. In most states, most physical abuse, sexual and financial abuses are criminal offenses.
Secondly, elder education is central in helping the elderly retain as much power over their lives as possible. The elderly must be educated in their rights to receive protective services in the least restrictive environment. They must retain the right to choose and the right to remain confidential.
Thirdly, health care providers must receive continued training, especially in the areas of seeking alternatives to the choices the elder person may resent. For example, the alternative to taking a shower may be a bath or changing the times the bath or showers are due.
Fourthly, clinical settings such as hospitals and physician offices should have a protocol for the detection and assessment of the elder mistreatment. Protocols should include a narrative, checklist or standardized forms that allow rapid screening and provide guidelines for documentation that withstand scrutiny in court.
Fifthly, family education and support is an essential factor in reducing elder abuse. Providing caregivers with respite care promotes increased social contact, providing support for families with dependent adults and encouraging counseling and treatment to cope with personal, financial and family problems that contribute to abuse are positive steps that can prevent abuse. Educating the family about understanding their health care reimbursement choices, investigating the services of community organizations and researching volunteer groups who may be able to help them can greatly ease their stress and concerns.
Angels of Central Alabama
I am a son to my Father, Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and to my beloved earthly dad. I am a father to my three beautiful children, Sherodyne, Ryan & Rehema, a husband to my beautiful and beloved wife Florence.