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Physical And Emotional Abuse Of An Elder

3085 words - 13 pages

The number of elders who are abused in this country and around the world each day is growing at an astonishing rate be it from individuals or institutions. As many as one in ten older adults and one in two people with dementia are victims of elder abuse. Unfortunately, for every case that gets reported there are 23 that go unreported. ("Get Info," 2014) as you can see from the statistics elder abuse is not uncommon in the United States. Any elder has the potential of being physically, emotionally, sexually, or financially abused by another individual. Elders can also cause harm to themselves by neglecting their daily needs. At St. Rita’s nursing home, during Katrina, thirty-five elderly ...view middle of the document...

As you can see, elder abuse isn’t only the physical beating of an older person. Many times abuse, no matter the form, goes unreported, unnoticed, and oftentimes completely neglected or encouraged by family members. Family members are the most common abuser, this could not be more true than when looking at the sexual abuse of an elder.
Sexual abuse is defined as not consensual sexual contact of any kind. Sexual abuse is not uncommon, where elders are concerned, especially in nursing homes and state run facilities. Sexual abuse is any sexual contact that is non consensual. The statistics of sexually abused elders differ drastically. I feel that this differentiation is caused by a large number of unreported events taking place. There are a few non inclusive signs and symptoms to look for when determining if a person has been sexually abused. Anal or vaginal bleeding, torn or tattered clothes, and bruises surrounding the breast and genitals should raise red flags immediately. Sexual abuse is not uncommon, but financial abuse is much more common than other forms of abuse amongst elders.
Sometimes older adults are taken advantage of with their finances. In a 1998 study by the National Center on Elder Abuse, financial abuse accounted for about 12 percent of all elder abuse reported nationally in 1993 and 1994 and 30 percent of substantiated elder abuse reported to Adult Protected Services in 1996 after excluding reports of self-neglect. Financial abuse is defined as illegally taking, misuse, or concealment of funds, property, or assets of a vulnerable older adult. Financial exploitation is also known as fiduciary abuse, financial abuse, economic abuse, and financial mistreatment. It is difficult to prove that an individual has been a victim of financial abuse and even more difficult to charge the abuser. 1 out of 20 older adults have been victims of financial exploitation by family members at some point in the recent past. Many elderly people are already poor to begin with and once they have been financially abused, the abuse may push them over the edge. Once an elderly person gives up on life, they begin to neglect their daily duties.
Self-neglect is a strong concern of families with older loved ones. Self-neglect is characterized as the failure of a person to perform essential, self-care tasks and that such failure threatens his or her own health or safety. It is not uncommon for an aging adult to demonstrate characteristics of self-neglect after being abandoned by his or her family or the institution responsible for the care of the individual. Abandonment is a major problem amongst the older generation. Oftentimes older people are looked down upon as being worthless to society, needy, and extremely expensive to care for. It is for these reasons that elders are often times abandoned. Abandonment is defined as the desertion of a vulnerable elder by anyone who has assumed the responsibility for care or custody of that person. Abandonment can happen...

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