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Bshs407 Abuse of Older Adults

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Abuse of Older Adults

Maisha McCord

BSHS/ 407

October 9, 2018

Marcia Winter

Abuse of Older Adults

Older adults in our day and age are more noticeable, active and independent more so than ever before. Older adults seem to be living longer healthier lives and thriving, but as our population continue to grow one of our biggest issues in America continues to be a problem, which is elder abuse, neglect and exploitation of older adults.  ("Elder Abuse And Neglect: In Search Of Solutions", 2018)

 According to Pollard and Scommenga (Pollard, 2014).after World War II ended, approximately seventh- six million births took place in the United States. The birth of this generation was named the Baby Boomer era. In the year 2030, the youngest of all Baby Boomers will be entering retirement and our society will be responsible for their care.  Due to the influx in older adults and the elderly growing at a rapid rate, more cases of elder abuse and neglect are being reported. Elderly abuse is estimated at 2.1 million older adults being victimized by physical, psychological, and other forms of abuse and neglect yearly, but only one out of every six cases are reported to the authorities (Gosselin, 2014). A common misconception of elder abuse, is that someone is abusing or neglecting them in a nursing care facility or nursing home. The majority of elder abuse takes place in their home or a family member’s home. A close family friend, family member or someone that is hired by the family to provide care typically is the ones responsible for the abuse.

Elder abuse comes in many different forms; it is not just Physical abuse. Financial abuse is one of many ways in which older adults are abused, this consists of the misuse of elder’s finances or using their information without their consent. Neglect is another issue that is associated with elder abuse. Neglect happens when caregiving is withheld, and appropriate attention is not given to the individual. Intentionally failing to meet the physical, social or emotional needs of the older person. Neglect can include failure to provide food, water, clothing, medications and assistance with activities of daily living or help with personal hygiene. If a specified caregiver is responsible for paying bills for the older person, neglects their obligations this is also consider a form of neglect. Failure to pay the elders bills or help manage their money properly. Physical abuse is one of the easiest forms of elder abuse to notice, because physical visual signs are left on the elder.

Changes in social policy that may affect how human service professionals can support this population.  

Dealing with social policy may become a bit difficult for human services professional because states vary in their approach to regulating and disclose f private information, professional reporting duties, nursing home operations, and other relevant topics, issues.

Certain societal attitudes may also be a contributing factor to the violence against older people, and make it easier for abuse to continue without any detection or interventions.  These factors include the lack of value, lack of respect for older adults and society's belief that what goes on in the home is a private and should not be shared with anyone not in the family. Some cultural values and beliefs may influence the family dynamics on who is to care for the elders in their family or their homes. These differences can make situations more difficult to understand or see abuse or neglect.

 Human services professionals work closely with the client; human service workers help to identify problems and create a plan for services to help the client solve these problems. This process includes evaluating the client’s support system, environment, and values and each individual’s needs. Mandated reporting is in forty-five states, laws under which physicians, nurses, social workers, and others designated by the state are legally required to report suspected abuse against older adults to adult protective services (Stiegel & Klem, 2007). A mandatory reporter is a person required by law to report allegations and/or suspicions of abuse against an older adult. The states that are not required by their state to report have voluntary reporting laws to report to the police if a crime against any older adult. States that have mandated reporters create a duty to report for almost all professionals with whom the victim came in to any contact with. If any mandate reporter such as a human services professionals suspects that an older adult is being abused they must report this crime, and if they fail to report the allegations legal action can be taken against them.

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