Elder abuse has been present in society from past times. Evidence of elder abuse can be found in Shakespeare writings and literature, and also in Greek mythology. Despite its’ constant presence throughout time, it is only recently that serious attention has been given to elderly violence. The main reason for the new recognition of this old problem is the increasing number of aging Americans. (National Center for Victims of Crime). Elderly abuse in modern times is more prevalent that in ancient times, because of the few that were tasked with the duties. In past generations, the duties of caring for the elderly were shared among the members of large extended families. However, due to the emergence of a strained economy, and smaller nuclear families there is less time and family members to care for the elders within each family. The definition for elderly abuse varies from state to state within the US. A common middle ground in all definitions is that elderly abuse is any physical, psychological, or maternal abuse towards an elderly person. In summary, it is the violation of the elder’s rights to safety, security and adequate healthcare. (Wyandt). Due to the various definitions of elderly abuse across the board, the act has been categorized in different typologies. Physical abuse, Verbal/Psychological abuse and Financial abuse are three main types of elderly abuse.
TYPES OF ELDER ABUSE
The physical abuse of elderly may include restraining, slapping, hitting, bruising, and other forms of physical abuse that result in pain or injury, sexual abuse, sexually molestation, and rape. Verbal abuse or psychological abuse usually involves inflicting mental anguish, humiliation, intimidation, yelling, and threats. Keeping an elderly person isolated from others can also cause psychological distress and lead to more serious issues such as depression.
While caring for elderly most time caregivers tend to illegal or improperly exploit and use the funds of their patient; this denote financial abuse. Theft, fraud, and taking advantage of a cognitively impaired older person for profit or personal gain also constitute as financial abuse. Financial abuse of the elderly tends to occur overtime rather than a single, overt act such as robbery, purse snatching, or carjacking.
The most common and painful abuse for most elders is spousal abuse. Spousal abuse can occur throughout the adult life span. For older people who report physical abuse from a spouse, the abuse has likely occurred for many years throughout the relationship and continues into the elderly years. For others, spousal abuse may occur with a significant life change that sometimes accompanies older age, such as mental or physical illness of a spouse. In addition, other forms of domestic violence, including family relationships with longtime partners, adult children, and grandchildren have resulted in elder abuse.
Refusing or failing to fulfill care-taking obligations, abandoning an...