Consequences Of Elderly Abuse

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What is elderly abuse? Elderly abuse occurs when physical,emotional, financial, sexual, or psychological abuse is perpetrated on an elderly individual. As each year falters to an end at least four million elderly American will have experienced some form of abuse (American). Who commits these crimes? Why do they commit them? Do they have long lasting effects? Where is this abuse most likely to occur? All of these questions must be understood to begin the processes of preventing elderly abuse. Elderly has many causes, has long lasting effects, and by taking the right steps can be prevented.
Although elderly abuse does occasionally occur in nursing homes and elderly care facilities its most common place is within our own homes. There are many
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With any form of physical abuse cuts, welts, bruises, and other minor injuries will occur. If the abuse worsens so will the injuries. If the physical abuse takes the form of neglect the victim may suffer from malnutrition or dehydration. The persistent physical pain from their injuries, hunger, or thirst can cause disturbed sleep patterns. This can increase their susceptibility to new diseases and even raise the chances for early death. If the victim is being sexual abused that will also have an increased chance of accruing a sexually transmitted disease. A person suffering from this form of abuse as well as emotional or financial will also have psychological damage. They will have an increased likelihood for depression and higher levels of stress (CDC). Abused elderly individuals may also feel alienated, guilty, and ashamed of the abuse they are facing (WHO). These emotions can feed off of each other, the guilt and the shame causing the individual to feel isolated and the isolation causing shame and guilt. Those stuck in the situation can suffer from learned helplessness and have an increase in their fear and anxiety. If the elderly individual is removed from the situation they will suffer from post traumatic stress syndrome due to the psychological and physical distress placed upon them …show more content…
In order to prevent this abuse steps must be taken. Identifying the elderly going through the abuse is the first major step in prevention. The two levels to this process are identifying elders at risk and helping elders already suffering from abuse. When identifying elders at risk for abuse an individual must consider those must likely to experience it. Stress of the caregiver is a large cause of elderly abuse so the most dependent elderly are at a higher risk for abuse or neglect. The elderly that suffer from mental illnesses, such as Alzheimers, are at the greatest risk for abuse due to the strain their care places on their providers. Special attention should not only be given to those elderly suffering from mental or physical impairments. Fully capable individuals who have mentally disabled family or substance abusers in their household should receive attention as well. Their is a tool called the Elder Abuse Screening Test that can help find individuals not considered high risk. To help elderly individuals already suffering from abuse there are symptoms that should be observed. Once an elder has been considered at risk for abuse symptoms must be substantiated and observed in order to confirm the abuse. There are certain cues that can show whether or not an individual is suffering from abuse and these include the elders appearance, behavior, characteristics, the

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