The Causes And Consequences Of Elder Abuse

1755 words - 7 pages

This essay will begin by giving a definition of elder abuse and it will then go on to briefly explain elder abuse. It will then move on to discuss the causes and consequences of elder abuse. It will then outline the ways in which policy and practice has responded to the problem of elder abuse since the protection of our future: Report of the working group on elder abuse was published in 2002. It will then conclude by evaluating these responses.
Elder abuse is “a single or repeated act, or lack of appropriate action, occurring with any relationship where there is an expectation of trust which causes harm or distress to an older person or violates their human and civil rights” (Protecting our future, report of the working group on elder abuse, September 2002). There are many different forms of elder abuse such as physical, sexual, psychological, neglect, and financial (Hse.ie, 2014). Financial abuse is the most commonly reported abuse experienced by older people. Some examples of financial abuse would include someone else having access to the older persons bank account without their permission, the old person being pressured into giving someone else their money (Lafferty et al., 2012). A report published in 2010 by the National Centre for the protection of older people (NCPOP) called abuse and neglect of older people in Ireland found that over 10,000 people that were over the age of sixty five years experienced some form of abuse in the year which is an overall prevalence of 2.2 percent. Financial abuse was reported to be at 1.3 percent, psychological abuse was the second most common form of abuse at 1.2 percent. Physical abuse was at 0.5 percent, neglect was reported at 0.3 percent and sexual abuse was the least common at 0.05 percent. In the same year 10 percent of referrals to the HSE were in connection with older people who were living in nursing homes or some form of continuing care environments (O’Donnell et al, 2012).
There are many factors that hinder people from reporting elder abuse. The victims often cannot formulate clearly the type of abuse that they are experiencing. Also the victim may have a fear of losing the person that is caring for them and being left to care for themselves. The signs and symptoms of the abuse that an older person may experience differ with the nature of the abuse. However many of those who are experiencing elder abuse may have 1. Unexplained injuries- bruises or cuts for which an explanation cannot be given. 2. Unkempt appearance- they may not have been showered and just generally appear unclean. 3. Bed sores 4. Dehydration or malnutrition 5. Anxiety or depression and 6. Fear. It is usually not clear who is carrying out the abuse as the older person may be in contact with many relatives, neighbours or even friends. In a nursing home or another care environment the older person may have a number of carers. Within the law there are 2 types of elder abuse, those which are criminal offences and those which are...

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