Posted: June 18th, 2021
The two types of elder abuse I decided to discuss are emotional abuse and exploitation. Emotional abuse is inflicting mental pain, anguish, or distress on an older person through verbal and nonverbal acts. Examples of emotional abuse are as follow: name calling, verbally telling someone they are worthless, intimidation, and playing mind games. Exploitation is taking, misusing, or concealment of funds, property, or assets of an older adult for one’s own personal gain. Examples of exploitation are as follow: taking money from an older person, borrowing the older person’s vehicle and not returning it, moving in with an older person without consent and treating the poverty as your own. I consider the types of abuse discussed as crucial because they are difficult to prove. These types of abuse can be done without physical evidence. The abuser can easily deny the allegations. As we discuss the elderly, we often assume that there’s cognitive impairment and memory difficulties. With there being cognitive impairment, the accuser can easily detour the mistreatment. Growing population of the elderly, the demand for elderly care, workload of social welfare agencies, and age-related changes in the elderly such as cognitive and mobility impairments are challenges in abolishing the abuse. The elderly client often has a decline in mobility and cognition; making if difficult to effectively communicate with others. Elderly clients can easily be retained and controlled, contributing to easy target for abuse without it being known. Social welfare agencies often have overwhelming workload, contributing to insufficient assessments and follow-up of the alleged abuse and possible overlooked abuse. There are ways to protect the elderly, while in the community and workplace. While in the workplace, being familiar with the patient and their behavior is helpful. Often the abuse victim will exhibit abnormal behaviors when being abused. The patient may be withdrawn, fearful, and shameful. The facility social worker is then involved for assessment for psychological factors such as depression. The assessment is on-going. The care team along with the abuse coordinator for the facility will continue the investigation. When in the community; neighbors, family, friends, and primary care physicians are our main sources that will help with possible abuse of an elderly. If the elderly has not had a routine doctor’s visit over an amount of time; this should be reported for follow-up to assess the reason for no doctor visits. If a neighboring elderly person has not been seen in a while, alert police and local social welfare agencies for courtesy checks. Families should check on their elderly family members (uncles, aunts, grand dad, grand-mother, etc,); and the same for elderly friends. If anything suspicious, report it.
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