Elder Abuse: Awareness & Prevention
Why is senior abuse such a dangerous issue? We should also ask why senior abuse is a complicated issue. Who tends to abuse elders? What is the significance of this problem?
Let’s discuss abuse before moving on to the article. Generally, abuse can happen to everyone in each gender or age group. But this issue is more severe for the elderly as they could face serious medical problems. Sometimes they face abuse from their own children or feel abandoned by them.
What Are the Types of Abuse?
For seniors, there are two main types of abuse, emotional and physical:
1. Physical Abuse
Seniors experience physical abuse of many types; for example, they can face violent reactions from their nurses or children. Unfortunately, victims are sometimes unable to recognize physical abuse because they do not feel comfortable talking about it or because they feel ashamed of it. In recent years many reports have been published about this issue; for example, a 90-year-old woman in New York was struck by her nurse at home. Luckily, that nurse was arrested, but it may be hard to identify the problem in some cases.
Taking care of seniors is a massive responsibility for children, families, and friends. In order to arrange in-home care, families and friends need to contact approved organizations.
2. Emotional Abuse
Have you ever heard of seniors isolated in their homes due to emotional issues? It can happen in many ways. For example, children can be disrespectful to their elderly parents. Also, the elderly may be abused by nurses or even by their wives or husbands. Other examples of emotional abuse are:
- Kids or nurses threaten seniors to leave them alone or cut their income.
- Calling down seniors because of some physical problems.
- Banish seniors from the family.
- Do not let them see their friends or grandchildren.
- Use negative words about their personalities.
These are some emotional abuses that can happen to seniors and lead to loneliness and isolation.
3. Neglecting the Seniors
One of the most common mistakes children make when it comes to elderly parents is to ignore them. In some cases, financial intents encourage children to neglect their parents in care homes or leave them on the streets in the worst cases. Older people feel useless in such a scenario. It will reduce their life quality, and they will face mental issues and common mental disorders. Please notice that sometimes staying in the care houses is not a wrong choice for seniors if they have many serious physical problems. However, it is important to treat them right, and children should not leave them unattended.
4. Sexual Abuse
Sexual abuse is a disturbing issue that seniors can face. The victims may be part of the sexual activities or be forced to watch them. This is an illegal act that can happen in the hands of nurses or children.
The last kind of senior abuse we can discuss is financial abuse. Many seniors with good incomes do not have enough control over their assets due to mental health issues. In these cases, children or caregivers can steal their money. Children can also sign a contract with their parents and take their retirement salary and life insurance without permission.
Who More Face with Abuse?
Recent socialist reports indicate that women are at the core of abuse issues. But men have the same problems too. Older people with mental issues, Alzheimer’s or depression, can be an easy target for abuse. For instance, seniors who cannot do their tasks, such as taking a shower or wearing clothes, are typically abused.
Also, children must be cautious when it comes to seniors’ health. People may try to earn money through more straightforward methods in an economic downturn, such as scamming the elderly. For example, they can impersonate a doctor and steal from the elderly by abusing their medical records. On the other hand, some irresponsible perpetrators, with full knowledge of the individual’s condition, engage in fraud and abuse of the elderly.
In these cases, you can rely on programs and services for seniors in Canada, such as old age security services.
Signs of Senior Abuse
There are cases when seniors will not discuss a nurse’s problems for fear of being ridiculed or humiliated. Children should pay more attention to their parents and watch for signs of elder abuse, something we will discuss below:
- You can see physical damage on their skins or their body.
- Some evidence like broken bones.
- In some cases, you can see some rope marks on their skin.
- They are constantly afraid.
- They become angry at every turn.
- Their weight drops significantly.
- They don’t talk anymore.
Sexual Abuse Signs
You may see some signs, for example, bloody clothes, blood in their piss, or some problems in moving in this condition. Due to shame, elders may not try to speak about it. But you can get help from psychotherapists to solve this problem.
Facts About Senior Abuse
All of the information presented here is based on an article published on the World Health Organization website.
- Around 1 in 6 people 60 years and older have experienced some form of abuse in community settings during the past year.
- Rates of senior abuse are high in institutions such as nursing homes and long-term care facilities, with 2 in 3 staff reporting that they have committed abuse in the past year.
- Senior abuse can lead to serious physical injuries and long-term psychological consequences.
- Senior abuse is predicted to increase as many countries are experiencing rapidly ageing populations.
- The global population of people aged 60 years and older will more than double, from 900 million in 2015 to about 2 billion in 2050.
What Should We Do to Help Seniors?
Various groups and organizations have emerged to reduce and prevent unfortunate events. One area currently undergoing a lot of effort is the health of the elderly. It is also these organizations’ responsibility to report the abuse of the elderly. Of course, children and those around seniors also play a significant role in reducing these problems. Counsellors and psychologists can also improve seniors’ safety at home and prevent abuse.