Abuse on old people has become prevalent in society, most of these abuses usually take place in elderly people’s homes and perpetrated mostly by doctors and nurses on duty. According to a report from the National Council On Aging (NCOA), over five million cases of abused elders are recorded on an annual basis, and these abuses have a 300% possibility of leading to death. More than ever, the best alternative remains to protect these most vulnerable people in our society. There are actually many types of elder abuse recorded in most nursing, which is why we came up with this article in the first place; to discuss in detail the most prevalent types of elder abuse in nursing homes. Below, they are listed as thus:
1. Physical Abuse
This kind of abuse has more to do with applying physical force that may lead to physical injury which sometimes results in blood, physical injuries that leads to pain, or impairment. Courses of these various types of injuries can be attributed to shaking, sticking with a hard surface, punching, slapping, hitting, burning, e.t.c. This type of abuse still has more to do with threats of violence and rough-handling the elder. Other forms of physical abuse include restricting their movement either by applying physical force or using medications to achieve a particular selfish motive. Some of the signs of physical abuse include cuts, broken bones, Bruises, sudden loss of hair, e.t.c.
2. Sexual Abuse
Sexual type of abuse has more to do with the non-consensual contact or penetration of any kind with an elderly. Examples of this type of abuse include groping, coerced nudity, coerced nudity, rape, sodomy, unconsented touching of an elder who suffers from mental issues like Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. As awkward as these acts may be, it is surprising how common these cases are, but nevertheless, their presence is noticed on an annual basis.
3. Psychological Abuse
It is an emotional kind of abuse, it has more to do with inflicting distress, anguish or any form of emotional pain via either verbal or non-verbal acts. Some example of this includes raining insults on the elder, humiliating or intimidating them, cursing or threatening them (some threats can also involve physical violence). Other forms of psychological abuse include some emotional manipulations such as deliberately isolating them from their friends, relatives, family, or any other social networks. Abuse such as this has the capacity to put them into depression. Again, there is this particular form of emotional abuse that has to do with the perpetrators identifying those things that matters the most to the elder, then use it to blackmail them into doing things against their wish. This is cruel tactics that often end up favoring the perpetrators, to the detriment of the victim. The seriousness of this type of abuse is that it is a silent killer, and there is rarely visible evidence to prove that such an event really took place.
4. Material Exploitation
This can also be called financial abuse. This happens when there is an improper use of the elder’s property, assets, or funds. E.g. stealing any of the victim’s assets, money, or property by forging their signature, cashing their cheques without approval from then, making use of their credit/debit cards without permission, or engaging in identity theft. The worse of all being converting their property to personal assets by illegally changing the name on their will. This is actually one of the commonest of all the abuses elderly people experience in various nursing homes across the country. Some of the caregivers go as far as being overly friendly to these individuals to gain access to their financial details.
Negligence simply means, blatant refusal to attend to the needs of an elder in one’s care. This is not accidental as some people may want to assume, it represents total disregard for one’s wellbeing, and it can even be twice as harmful as other forms of abuse. This is because most of the time, an elder that has one form of alignment which requires routine medication may fall victim of neglect, a situation that can worsen the health condition, worst-case scenario – death. Neglect can also happen when the caregiver intentionally falls to provide basic needs like food, water, personal hygiene, clothing, e.t.c. to those elders in their care.
There are actually many other types of elderly abuses, but the ones we had mentioned above remain the most prevalent. Anybody found guilty of any form of elderly abuse is charged with felony or misdemeanor, but it depends on the magnitude of the crime committed. If found guilty, the perpetrator risks a year jail term and a fine not more than $6000. But if found guilty of a felony, the convicted risk a jail term of 2-4 years in prison and a fine of more than $6000. In all of this, elderly people are suppose to be our heroes; they are the reason why we still have a society to live in and must be treated with the utmost respect.
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