Elder Mistreatment

Elder Mistreatment

It is estimated that over 2 million older adults are mistreated each year in the United States. While the awareness of elder mistreatment has increased in the past 20 years, the extent of abuse is somewhat unknown due to differing definitions, poor detection and lack of reporting.

Most people, including health care professionals, are reluctant to address the mistreatment of older people, even when the traditional signs point to abuse. Physicians are in an ideal position to detect and manage the mistreatment because they may be the only people outside the family who regularly sees a mistreated elderly person.

People who are most at risk of being abused include those who are older, have little income and feel isolated from the rest of the world and those who have not completed 12 or more years of education. In addition, people who are substance abusers or are under the care of a substance abuser, have a psychological problem, a history of family violence or are physically challenged are also at risk of being abused.

Elder abuse ranges from physical abuse to mismanagement of finances. Physical abuse includes incorrect physical contact that causes pain or injury. Physical neglect is the withholding of food, medical treatment, or failure to provide for quality of life. Psychological abuse, such as degradation or verbal harassment, causes mental anguish in the elderly person. Elderly persons still have basic human rights.

Recognizing elder mistreatment is difficult. If the elder person’s mental or speaking ability is impaired, he or she may be unable to describe mistreatment. Elderly people with illnesses such as Alzheimer’s disease may be unable speak to a physician, making it a challenge to determine if mistreatment is taking place.

Elder abuse is often discovered in routine physical examinations, so it is imperative that the physician be attuned to subtle comments that may reveal deeper problems. Physicians should ask questions about where the elderly patient is living, diet and quality of life. A simple blood count can establish if the patient is receiving adequate food and water.

If the physician thinks mistreatment is occurring, and examinations and tests confirm these thoughts, the physician should attempt to discuss the situation with the patient. The patient, if able, should help decide a resolution to the problem. By law, all health care providers are required to report elder abuse to proper authorities. The appropriate governmental agency will assign a social worker to investigate and intervene.

Source: American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP)

Similar of Elder Mistreatment

Top Oral Health Tips for Childhood, Teenage Years, Adulthood, Elderly People

Top Oral Health Tips for Childhood, Teenage Years, Adulthood, Elderly People Professor Mike Morgan, Principal Oral Health, Advisor at Dental Health Services Victoria : http://www.dhsv.org.au , gives his top tips for good oral health for

Dental Care For Older People

Problems associated with ageing As you get older, your gums may recede and your teeth may become a little more sensitive as a result. The dentist or hygienist

Preventing falls - a Guide for Older People and their Carers

About 135,000 falls occur every year in people over 75 years. One in five of these falls results in fractures that need hospital treatment. If the faller is

Exercise And Diet Improve Immunity To Disease In The Elderly

Exercise And Diet Improve Immunity To Disease In The Elderly With the onset of old age there is often a decline in the immune response to disease. The result is that infectious diseases can have debilitating or even

Mental Health

Mental health problems can take many forms: The Fortune 500 executive with mood swings who drinks martinis to get through the day; the college senior

Ethical Dilemma in Health Care System in United States of America: ‘Old versus Youth’

Health care is available to those who have lived a full natural life span; The young people versus the older people in terms of health care issue, it will

Understanding Child Maltreatment

Understanding Child Maltreatment Child maltreatment includes all types of abuse and neglect that occur among children under the age of 18. There are four common types of abuse. Physical



Post new comment