Introduction Mistreatment and abuse are common in elders. ?In 2002, WHO brought international attention to the issue of elder abuse. ? ?Over the years, government agencies and community professional groups, worldwide, have specified elder abuse as a social problem. ? ?In 2006 the International Network for Prevention of Elder Abuse (INPEA) designated June 15 as World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD), and an increasing number of events are held across the globe on this day to raise awareness of elder abuse and highlight ways to challenge such abuse.
? ?Abuse in older adults are associated with depression , cognitive impairment, loss of functional capacity, and increased mortality. ( ?T ?raxler, Chrisine Dr. 03/16/2016) There are many types of elder mistreatment and abuse; physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional or psychological abuse, neglect, abandonment, financial abuse, and self-neglect. Abuse and mistreatment is usually by a caregiver.
( ?T ?raxler, Chrisine Dr. 03/16/2016) Health care professionals that take care of elders have the opportunity to strongly affect the health consequences, both legally and morally. They have an obligation to report and intervene when maltreatment is suspected. As a health care worker abuse and treatment is everywhere; in hospitals, emergency rooms, nursing homes, private homes, and outpatient settings. ( ?John M Halphen, JD, MD Carmel B Dyer, MD, FACP, AGSF 05/23/2018) ?As a health care professional we must be aware of this treatment and how to handle it. If you expect any abuse or mistreatment as a health professional you must report it by law, this action is called mandate reporting. If you suspect abuse, you should be sure to document the signs, take note of his or her changes in behavior, take photographs of injuries,write descriptions of the victim’s injuries, retrieve written statements from the victimsand written statements from any witnesses. Once this is done you should follow the chain of command in reporting incidents like this.
Do not confront the individual or individuals being accused of the abuse or mistreatment. Physical abuse is using some type of force on an elderly person that causes bodily harm or pain. This can also be hitting the person with an object or your hand. Physical abuse is usually by a relative that is a caregiver for the elderly person. There are many signs and symptoms of physical abuse. Some of these signs are broken bones, skull fractures, wounds, dislocations, sprains, Internal injuries or bleeding, evidence of giving too much or too little, broken eyeglasses, evidence of restraining devices, if elderly person reports being slapped, hit, mistreated kicked, sudden changes in the elderly person’s personality or behavior.
The refusal to have visitors or if you see the senior alone frequently. Although some of these signs and symptoms can be from a result of a fall which is very common in the elderly, consistently seeing any of these things are not. ( ?T ?raxler, Chrisine Dr. 03/16/2016) Another type of mistreatment and abuse is sexual abuse, which is more common than you think. Sexual abuse is having non consensual sex. Any type of sexual contact that is unable to consent is a form sexual abuse.
This can be unwanted touching, nudity, sodomy, intercourse or taking picture of the an elderly person nude. Just like physical abuse there are many signs and symptoms of sexual abuse. These signs are unexplained STDs, unexplained genital infections, bruises on the breast or genitals, bleeding from the anus or vagina, underwear that are unexplained blooded or torn, and report by the elder that he or she is being abused. ( ?T ?raxler, Chrisine Dr. 03/16/2016) Sexual abuse should also be reported immediately. When reporting sexual abuse you must get a series of test done. Usually in the hospital a rape kit is done.
Make sure the patient has not been cleaned or had a shower because this can affect the testing. This test will be used as evidence against theperson or persons being accused. Emotional or psychological abuse is another type. Emotional or psychological abuse is inflicting pain, anguish, or distress by verbal or nonverbal mean. This can include insulting the elderly, engaging in verbal assaults, humiliating the elder, threatening the elder, intimidating the elder or harassment. During this type of abuse the elder is often treated like a child and is isolated from activities that they enjoy, friends, and family. Some of the signs and symptoms are the elder not communicating, he or she becomes unresponsive or withdrawn, the elder is agitated or emotionally upset, the elder has unusual behavior that mimics dementia, or if the elder reports any emotional abuse. ( ?T ?raxler, Chrisine Dr.
03/16/2016) Even though Emotional or psychological abuse is not physical, it can cause just was much damage as physical abuse. Neglect is also a type of abuse and mistreatment. Neglect is the most common type. Neglect is refusing or failing to provide adequate care to live comfortably. It is usually failure to care for the elder from caregivers who is obligated to care for them. It can be failure to pay bills, provide adequate meals, shelter, clothing, medicine, hygiene, personal safety, comfort, or water. The symptoms are easier to spot and can’t easily be mistaken as something else like multiple falls being mistaken as physical abuse. Those signs are nasty or bad living conditions, living in unsafe conditions with bored windows or bad wiring which can cause a fire, roof caving in, no lights, water, heat or air.
( ?T ?raxler, Chrisine Dr. 03/16/2016) Untreated pressure ulcers also called bed sores which occur when someone who lies in the one all day and not being moved because they are unable to walk or move themselves. Also malnutrition, dehydration, not taking them to the doctor regularly, or if an elder report any forms of neglect.
Abandonment is deserting the elder by someone who is responsible or has custody of the elder. The signs can be deserting the elder at the a public place like the grocery store or mall, Deserting them in a nursing home orhospital. A report that is made by the elder about being abandon.
Financial abuse is illegally or improper use of a person’s assets or other property. This includes forging their signature, taking cash from them, sign their checks and cashing them without their knowledge, manipulating the person to sign documents they do not understand, stealing their possessions or money, improper use of their benefits or power of attorney. Signs of financial abuse is including your name on their banking information to have access to their banking account and withdrawing large amounts of money. Making changes to their legal documents like a will, using their atm card without their permission, disappearing of their possessions or funds, giving them minimal care when they can afford more or better just to pocket the money, and if the elderly person report any type of financial abuse.( ?T ?raxler, Chrisine Dr.
03/16/2016) Self neglect can also be a sign of mistreatment or abuse. When I was researching this project I was confused and didn't understand why this could be a form of mistreatment or abuse. Self neglect is when the elder engages in behaviors that threatens their personal safety or health. It is usually seen when an elderly person refuses or fails to provide themselves with the adequate amount food, water, shelter, clothing, safety precautions, medication, and hygiene. Some of the sign and symptoms are living inadequate places or being homeless, failure to have or use medical aids like dentures, glasses, or hearing aids, Living in nasty living conditions. ( ?T ?raxler, Chrisine Dr.
03/16/2016) Elder abuse and mistreatment have become very common. ?Federal and state laws have been enacted in recent decades to help protect elderly adults. The Elder Justice Act of 2009 is widely regarded as the most comprehensive bill ever passed to combat elder abuse, exploitation and neglect.( ?Blanchard, Sarah 12/01/2017) ? Because of laws like this, elder abuse and mistreatment has been taken more seriously and so has the act of reporting it.
( ?Blanchard, Sarah 12/01/2017) ?As a healthcareprofessional you can report any type of abuse to your supervisor or their physician. You can simply just call you local police department. You can also report the abuse to Adult protect services . There is also a National Domestic Violence hotline, where there is someone available 24/7. If you are unsure if an elderly person is being abuse and they have some of the sign and symptoms report to anyway even if it's an uncertainty because you could be right.
It is very dangerous not to report elder abuse. Never confront the person being accused of the mistreatment or abuse. All reports of elder abuse are anonymous.
Even though it is anonymous you should not fear retaliation, job loss, demotion, or verbal harassment. Since Elder abuse is more and more common there are things in placed to make sure this isn't happening, In the nursing homes the state comes to visit frequently to check to see if the residents are not being mistreated or abused. Also if there are any complaints or suspicions the state comes to visit as well. Each nursing home has to abide by a certains standards from the state these standards were n place to protect the elders from abuse and mistreatment. Although sometimes the abuse slip through the cracks, thats why its our job as a healthcare professional to report all abuse even if it's your favorite coworker.
It is morally and ethically wrong. In private homes and outpatient setting it is hard to determine if there is abuse or not. I believe that if an elderly person is getting any type of assistance from the state they should be required to go to the doctor and required to have home visits. Also an elderly person should set up a living will and a power of attorney someone that they trust before they become incompetent and not able to do it.
It also needs to be notarized. The best way to stop elder abuse and mistreatment is to look for the warning signs and do not ignore them. No one with a history of violence or abuse should be working closely with elders that's why it is very important that healthcare professionals and caregivers like in-home CNAs orhome health worker get a thorough background check before working with elders. Although some elderly people have dementia and alzheimer's it is our duty as a healthcare professional to report all accusations and follow up on them.
Do not wait to report abuse make sure you report it immediately it can be very life threatening, you can also lose your license for not reporting it. Remember it is out ethical and moral duty to protect the heal of all patients we are the patient’s advocate, we speak for the patient.References 1. T ?raxler, Chrisine Dr. ( 03/16/2016) Types of Elder Abuse in Domestic Settings.
http://www.ncea.aoa.gov/Resources/Publication/docs/fact1.pdf. 2. Blanchard, Sarah (12/01/2017) How to Identify Elder Abuse and how to Report it ?https://www.
aplaceformom.com/blog/for-professionals/2-26-16-identifying-elder-abuse 3. ?John M Halphen, JD, MD Carmel B Dyer, MD, FACP, AGSF (05/23/2018) Elder Mistreatment: Abuse, neglect, and financial exploitation http://www.uptodate.com/contents/elder-mistreatment-abuse-neglect-and-financial