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             20 March, 2023

Category:  Articles » Home Management » Elder Care


Recognizing Elder Abuse

         Views: 2991
2010-03-01 07:10:03     
Article by Lex Bishop

Abuse can happen for any age group, including adults and the elderly who may be too frail or physically and mentally challenged to defend themselves. Every year, incidents are reported by witnesses or individuals who have witnessed or had "hunches" about claimed abuse reports. There is a question of how many others are being unreported. That is why it is important to recognize abuse when it takes place. After all, how would we feel if the situation was reversed and we or our loved ones had to suffer through an abusive situation?

Sometimes abuse takes place in the most subtle and unlikely environments. For instance, many families would like their loved one to be in the comfort of their own home. So they hire a caretaker. However, because their loved one is a disabled adult, who may be mentally challenged in ways that his verbal skills are limited, this loved one may not be able to defend himself when an abusive situation rises. Once his loved ones are not present, his caretaker may take advantage of him.

What are the different types of abuse?

Abuse can take place in different ways. These ways may range from physical, emotional, sexual, and even verbal abuse. Neglect as well as financial exploitation are also very common.

What are the common reasons elder abuse takes place?

Elder abuse can take place due to a variety of reasons. One common reason is that many caretakers are uneducated and unscreened prior to working with an elderly. The reason for this is to save money by hiring people who are inexperienced and/or have a bad record.

Elder abuse can also take place among family members. Sometimes when a parent becomes the one needing to be taken care of, children tend to retaliate by abusing them for various reasons that children feel their parents have neglected them.

Stress can lead to abuse. Many caretakers feel stressed about the actions and reactions that take place due to age related conditions. Sometimes the elderly may say rude and unexpected things that cannot be handled by the person caring for him or her.

Financial exploitation is also very common among abusive situations. The elderly are often supported by a fixed income, social security, or other sources that allow them to live. Many caretakers who are experiencing financial mishaps may be in charge of their elder's finances. Withdrawals and significant changes in the elder's financial condition may take place in these situations.

How can we prevent elder abuse?

Elder abuse can be prevented if proper precautions are considered. The first step is to do your research. Make sure your personal caretaker is someone you can trust. Second, try to keep all financial situations separate from the caretaker. Have it taken care of by a party that is separate from the one who is most likely to care for you or your loved one. Third, make sure your caretaker is not overworked. If it can be helped or made possible, try to hire at least two caretakers who would alternate the care.

In addition to elder abuse prevention, make sure that any instinct about abuse is reported. Sometimes it is best to trust your instinct when a hunch about something as serious as an abuse takes place. After all, what if it was your life or someone you loved?


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