Neglect Essay: The Hidden Problem Of Elder Abuse

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The Hidden Problem of Elder Abuse According to the American Psychological Association (n.d), every year, it is estimated that close to 4 million elderly Americans have been subjected to some type of physical, emotional, psychological and sexual abuse. Many have also been victims of neglect or exploitation by someone they depended on for care. These are just estimates because currently there are no official statistics; the last official report was published in 2005 by the National Center on Elder Abuse ("Frequently asked questions about elder abuse," n.d.). These numbers could just be the tip of the iceberg: it is also estimated that for every one case of abuse that is reported, there could be as many as 23 cases that go unreported because …show more content…
This kind of abuse occurs when the caregiver fails or refuses to adequately provide for the “physical, emotional or social needs of an older adult, resulting in harm to that person.” (Taylor, et al, 2011). Neglect includes failing to provide basic care such as proper nutrition and hygiene, clean clothing or a clean home. It can also be failing to provide medical care including withholding medication. Signs that an elderly person is neglected: weight loss, which could be sudden or gradual, poor hygiene including oral care, clothes that are dirty or soiled and don’t fit properly including shoes, bedsores or pressure ulcers that are untreated and missing medical aids such as hearing aids, dentures, glasses and wheelchairs or ambulatory aids such as walkers or …show more content…
“Elders who have been abused have a 300% higher risk of death than when compared to those who have not been abused.” ("What is Elder Abuse?," n.d.). It can be difficult to identify elder abuse because some of the indications can be misinterpreted as normal signs of aging or dementia. It is important for the healthcare provider to be knowledgeable of the signs of all the different types of abuse and to carefully observe the interactions between an elder adult and their caregiver, noting the tone the caregiver uses when speaking to the elder adult, watching to see if their demeanor is gentle and

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