As a healthcare worker we are mandatory reporters of any suspected abuse but this often can turn into a sticky situation. Other times it can be very difficult to prove suspicions but identifying abuse is a responsibility we should all hold near our hearts. Our grandparents, parents and even elderly neighbors have lived long tough lives and deserve to have their golden years, truly be golden. “More than 1 in 10 elders (11.4 percent) reported experiencing some type of abuse or potential neglect in the previous year, according to an NIJ-funded study.” (Taylor, 2015) Constantly being exposed to and on alert for elder abuse it is easy to remember that not many people outside of the healthcare field are away what an issue this is in our society today. This topic has begun to receive national awareness and concern but legislation is still far behind the issue. There are many settings that abuse can happen in such as foster home, long term care and private homes. There are many types of abuse ranging from physical to mental. Abuse can sometimes be noticed easier in care facility settings versus elders who live in a private home. Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia patients are also believed to be at a higher risk for abuse. Abuse can often stem from caregiver burn out, especially in home bound elders who have one caregiver, often a family member. If our loved ones are being taken care of by a family member or a handful of helpers we can provide support in many ways to try and prevent burnout. Although everything may look fine from the outside and seem as the caregiver has everything handled, taking care of the elderly is extremely tiring physically and emotionally. Providing a day off every once in a while can be an incredible help. It’s understandable that not everyone is capable of care giving. You can still help by providing a shoulder to lean on or just listening to their frustrations. Other ways of supporting the caregivers in your life can be with bringing a home cooked meal, offering help around the home and simply being a presence in their life.
Research collection and citations
- Burnes, D. “Prevalence of and Risk Factors for Elder Abuse and Neglect in the Community: A Population‐Based Study.” Journal of the American Geriatrics Society 63.9 (2015): 1906. Print.
Prevalence of and Risk Factors for Elder Abuse and Neglect in the Community: A Population-Based Study is a study based in the households of New York State to estimate prevalence and identify risk factors of elder emotional, physical abuse, and neglect. This study was conducted by random phone interviews. The neglect was evaluated by the failure of caregivers to provide care needs for older adults sing the Duke Older Americans Resources and Services (OARS) scale. This study was published by Journal of the American Geriatrics Society and this work was cited by three other geriatric journals. This study relates to my research question as it provides statistics that elder abuse and neglect are common problems.
- Manthorpe, Jill. “The Abuse, Neglect and Mistreatment of Older People with Dementia in Care Homes and Hospitals in England: The Potential for Secondary Data Analysis: Innovative Practice.” Dementia the International Journal of Social Research and Practice. 14.2: 273-79. Print.
This paper is a continuation of a study conducted in 2013 on the neglect and abuse on the elderly population with dementia. It combines many studies and statistics of the recorded abuse to further help dementia care practitioners make the most of existing data. The studies in this paper are primarily from England. This paper relates to my blog post by providing more facts possible suggestions on the increased risk patients with dementia may have to be mistreated.
- Taylor, Terry, and Carrie Mulford, “Evaluating the Los Angeles County Elder Abuse Forensic Center,” NIJ Journal 276 (2015): 32-37, available at http://www.nij.gov/journals/276/Pages/ elder-abuse-forensic-center.aspx.
This article is based on evaluation of The Elder Abuse Forensic Center at the University of California. The forensic center investigates accusations of elder abuse and follows through with prosecutions. This article attributes to my blog post by researching the effects of abuse on the elderly including more frequent trips to the hospital and overall premature death. It discusses the fact that elder abuse has yet to be recognized as an urgent social problem and how legislations are lagging behind child and partner abuse, yet elder abuse occurs just as frequently.