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The Importance of Addressing Elder Abuse

6 Pages 1574 Words October 2018

Elder abuse is a complicated and comprehensive subject to address, definitely for me because I was a caretaker to my great-grandmother at such a young age. In 1987, Congress defined “elder abuse” as the “Domestic and institutional abuse of persons over age 60 involving physical, sexual, and emotional/psychological harm, as well as neglect, self-neglect, abandonment, and financial exploitation” (as cited by Lindberg, Sabatino & Blancato, 2011, p. 106). Elder abuse first took societal notice on a national scale in the 1960s. Since then, there have been multiple acts of legislation that have identified the problem and prompted the initiation of protective laws and resources. Unfortunately, inconsistent funding has been the main obstacle in reaching sustained progress in the fight against elder abuse. Elder abuse and neglect has avoided public attention because of an excessive dependence on family systems and other forms of advocacy for older adults (Lindberg, et al., 2011). In addition, abuse often goes unreported by victims and families due to the shame and embarrassment of individual vulnerabilities and perceived negligence. Making matters worse, is the possibility that the perpetrator of the abuse is the primary caregiver of the victim. According to Lindberg, et al. (2011), “The extent of elder abuse is of such epidemic proportions that a national strategy is sorely needed” (p.107); the problems will continue to propagate as the older population ages.
Available resources for elder abuse are ambiguous, indistinct, and insufficient. Key elements that contribute to the issue of elder abuse are an increase in family pressures, lack of trained and skilled workers, negative attitudes about aging, and the deficiency of adequate funding. For older adults, the consequences of abuse bring about a profound effect on the overall quality of life. Victims may experience mental and physical harm or financial devastation. Emotional well-be...

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