There are many types of elder abuse. Choose two types and discuss challenges you perceive in abolishing them. Justify why you consider them as the most crucial. Discuss how you can advocate and protect the elderly from abuse.
I’d like to preface my post by saying that any act of abuse on the elderly is repugnant and deserves equal prevention and intervention. As someone who has personally had to make reports to charge nurses, managers, and Adult Protective Services, mistreatment of elderly patients is a serious problem for a vulnerable population. According to the National Council on Aging (NCOA):
Approximately 1 in 10 Americans aged 60+ have experienced some form of elder abuse. Some estimates range as high as 5 million elders who are abused each year. One study estimated that only 1 in 14 cases of abuse are reported to authorities (NCOA, 2019).
That being said, I’d have to say the most challenging abuse types to prevent or report are emotional and financial exploitation. Cultural factors, presence of cognitive illness, and susceptibility to these forms of abuse make interviewing difficult and can often be a grey area for reporting.
There are many ways to advocate and protect these patients from abuse, but being observant to cues like sudden financial changes, social isolation, depression, anxiety, and changes in psyche around certain family members or caregivers. Money management programs, helplines, local emergency shelter resources, and multidisciplinary teams that include social workers, APS, civil legal services, etc. can help to coordinate these older adults into a safe, healthy situation.