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Elder Abuse: A Concern For Social Work Practice ...Lloyd Dsouza


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Elder Abuse: A Concern For Social Work Practice.. Lloyd Dsouza

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Elder Abuse: A Concern For Social Work Practice ...Lloyd Dsouza

  1. 1. Elder Abuse: A Concern for Social Work Practice Lloyd Vicky D’Souza  Department of Social Work Mangalore University Mangalagangothri Mangalore Karnataka.
  2. 2. Introduction: <ul><li>A man’s life is normally divided into five main stages namely infancy, childhood, adolescence, adulthood and old age. In each of these stages an individual has to find himself in different situations and face differed problems. </li></ul><ul><li>The old age is not without problems. In old age physical strength deteriorates; mental stability diminishes; money popover coupled with negligence from the younger generation. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Conceptual background of elder abuse: <ul><li>Elder abuse is a general term used to describe certain types of harm to older adults. Other terms commonly used include: &quot;elder mistreatment,&quot; &quot;senior abuse,&quot; &quot;abuse in later life,&quot; &quot;abuse of older adults,&quot; &quot;abuse of older women,&quot; and &quot;abuse of older men”. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Definition <ul><li>Elder abuse can be defined as &quot;a single, or repeated act, or lack of appropriate action, occurring within any relationship where there is an expectation of trust which causes harm or distress to an older person&quot;. Elder abuse can take various forms such as physical, psychological or emotional, sexual and financial abuse. It can also be the result of intentional or unintentional neglect. </li></ul>
  5. 5. Types of abuse of older people <ul><li>Physical abuse: e.g. hitting, punching, slapping, burning, pushing, kicking, restraining, false imprisonment/confinement, or giving excessive or improper medication. </li></ul><ul><li>Psychological/Emotional : e.g. shouting, swearing, frightening, or humiliating a person. It may take verbal forms such as name-calling, ridiculing, constantly criticizing, accusations, blaming, and general disrespect, or non verbal forms such as ignoring, silence or shunning. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Contd….. <ul><li>Sexual : e.g. forcing a person to take part in any sexual activity without his or her consent, including forcing them to participate in conversations of sexual nature against their will; may also include situations where person is no longer able to give consent (dementia). </li></ul><ul><li>Neglect : e.g. depriving a person of food, heat, clothing or comfort or essential medication and depriving a person of needed services to force certain kinds of actions, financial and otherwise. The deprivation may be intentional or happen out of lack of knowledge or resources. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Contd….. <ul><li>Abandonment: Elder abuse can also include deserting an elderly; dependent person with the intent to abandon them or leave them unattended at a place for such a time period as may be likely to endanger their health or welfare. </li></ul><ul><li>Financial abuse : also known as financial exploitation. e.g. illegal or unauthorized use of a person’s property, money, pension book or other valuables (including changing the person's will to name the abuser as heir). It may be obtained by deception, coercion, misrepresentation, undue influence, or theft. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Contd….. <ul><li>Institutional abuse refers to physical or psychological harms, as well as rights violations in settings where care and assistance is provided to dependant older adults or others. </li></ul><ul><li>Scam by strangers : e.g. worthless &quot;sweepstakes&quot; that elderly persons must pay in order to collect winnings, fraudulent investment schemes, predatory lending, and lottery scams. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Common abusers of older people <ul><li>An abuser can be a spouse, partner, relative, a friend or neighbor, a volunteer worker, a paid worker, practitioner, solicitor, or any other individual with the intent to deprive a vulnerable person of their resources. </li></ul><ul><li>Older people living alone who have no adult children living nearby are particularly vulnerable to &quot;grooming&quot; by neighbors and friends who would hope to gain control of their estates. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Contd….. <ul><li>In some situations the abuse is &quot;domestic violence grown old,&quot; a situation in which the abusive behaviour of a spouse or partner continues into old age. </li></ul><ul><li>Institutional abuse may be the consequence of common practices or processes that are part of the running of a care institution or service. institutional abuses or neglect may reflect lack of knowledge, lack of training, lack of support, or insufficient resourcing. </li></ul>
  11. 11. Vulnerability to elder abuse <ul><li>Risk factors for elder abuse include an elderly person who: </li></ul><ul><li>Has memory problems (such as dementia). </li></ul><ul><li>Has physical disabilities. </li></ul><ul><li>Has depression, or suffers from loneliness. </li></ul><ul><li>Lacks social support. </li></ul><ul><li>Abuses alcohol or other substances. </li></ul><ul><li>Is verbally or physically combative with the caregiver. </li></ul><ul><li>Has a shared living situation. </li></ul>
  12. 12. Contd….. <ul><li>There are also several risk factors, which increase the likelihood that a caregiver will participate in elder abuse. Such factors include a caregiver who: </li></ul><ul><li>Has a history of substance abuse or a history of abusing others </li></ul><ul><li>Is dependent on the older person for housing, finances, or other needs </li></ul><ul><li>Has mental health problems, or is unemployed. </li></ul><ul><li>Has a criminal history. </li></ul><ul><li>Has a shared living situation. </li></ul>
  13. 13. Social work intervention <ul><li>Social workers have an important role to improve the quality of life of the elderly and help them to enjoy happier and more productive lives. In the care of the elderly social workers have a special role among care providers, and their families including medical care, mental health care, social needs and other aspects of individuals welfare. </li></ul><ul><li>The focus on the whole person is the key to social work’s unique perspective. Providing direct assistance like family support and counseling services and facilitating co-ordination. </li></ul>
  14. 14. Contd…. <ul><li>It’s the duty of the social workers to spread awareness about the various crimes and abuses taking place in the community against the elderly, and to raise voice against the atrocities instead of turning a blind eye towards it. </li></ul><ul><li>The elderly should also be helped and guided during the distribution of property lest the children forsake them. </li></ul><ul><li>The elderly should be made aware of their rights regarding pensions, health, rights and legal help. </li></ul>
  15. 15. Contd….. <ul><li>Moral education should be encouraged in schools and colleges to inculcate a sense of responsibility and respect towards the aged. </li></ul><ul><li>Counseling the elderly during the various stages (i.e. retirement, while the children prepare to go away for jobs, when there is a division of the property, while preparing a “will”, etc) is also a very positive step </li></ul><ul><li>Moral education or the values have to be inculcated in the institutional caretakers so that the elderly might not be robbed of their belongings. </li></ul>
  16. 16. Contd…. <ul><li>Family education has to be provided so that the family bond can be strengthened. </li></ul><ul><li>The social worker can make groups with the elderly and also make arrangement for recreation so that they do not feel lonely. </li></ul><ul><li>More over the social worker should know about the rights of the elderly and strive to fight for it in accordance with the human rights. </li></ul>
  17. 17. Contd….. <ul><li>Through education and training on elder abuse, health care professionals can better assist elder abuse victims. </li></ul><ul><li>Educating and training those in the criminal justice system, such as police, prosecutors, and the judiciary, on elder abuse, as well as increased legislation to protect elders, will also help to minimize elder abuse and will also provide improved assistance to victims of elder abuse. </li></ul>
  18. 18. Conclusion: <ul><li>Elder mistreatment is a recognized social problem for certain, though probably increasing, and in magnitude. The number of cases of elder mistreatment will undoubtedly increase over the next several decades. Yet little is known about its characteristics, causes, or consequences or about effective means of prevention or management. Most of the interventions targeted at preventing elder mistreatment or addressing the needs of victims and abusers are seldom evaluated.   </li></ul>
  19. 19. <ul><li>Thank you </li></ul>