Tolerating or ignoring elderly abuse is not the way out; doing something to stop it is.
The incidences of elderly abuse are on a rise. In most of the cases, such abuse is either by family members or the elderly care providers. Elderly abuse is a crime and you need to know ways of preventing it.
Emotional, physical, financial and sexual abuse, along with abandonment and neglect are different kinds of elderly abuse. Read on to know about ways to stop elderly abuse.
Your role as a family member or a friend
If the elderly stays in a nursing home or has a home care nurse, always keep an eye for a change in behavior in the elderly whenever the caregiver is around. Since family members also abuse the elderly, check out these symptoms if you go visiting as a friend.
Elderly Abuse Trivia
15th June of every year is celebrated as the World Elder Abuse Awareness Day
In the United States, elder financial abuse and exploitation results in embezzlement of nearly $2.6 billion, according to the US Department of Health and Human Services
- Look for abuse marks on the body,
- see if medications are being administered as per prescription
- seek permission from the elderly to check their financial statements to know that nothing untoward happens.
Stay over at the home of the elderly frequently. Tell a confidante or report to the authorities if abuse is involved. Provide emotional support to the elderly so that their psychological health does not deteriorate. If you want to find a nursing home, research thoroughly and talk to other elderly people in the home.
Your role as a care provider
Taking care of an elderly can be very demanding. However, as a caregiver, you are very uniquely placed to fight abuse. In case you observe that family members abuse the elderly, you can do the following:
- report the problem,
- confide in friends of the elderly or some of his other family members
- take help from support groups who help abused elderly.
You should also take the responsibility of educating others and the elderly around you about different kinds of abuse and how they can report the problem. If you are too stressed out due to the highly demanding job, take a break and sign up for counseling.
Your role as an elderly
The first thing to keep in mind is that you are not helpless. There are a lot of support groups that work exclusively to protect you and there are laws that give you legal protection against abuse. Some of the things that you can do are being aware of your medical requirements and the financial transactions that take place with regard to your assets. If you are unable to take care of your finances, employ an accountant or a trusted friend to handle the transactions. Do not be scared, hesitant or embarrassed to report the problem. Timely reporting can ensure that you are not exploited.
If you feel the urge to abuse
People who abuse elderly physically, emotionally or sexually are often ones who suffer psychological problems themselves. Contact a psychiatrist and get yourself treated if you feel the urge to abuse an elder person or for that matter anyone else. Do not take up elderly care until you are cured of the problem or leave the field altogether. If you are depressed, seek counseling and follow means to reduce stress. If you are addicted to substances, enlist yourself for rehabilitation.
Being aware of ways to prevent the problem can be an aid in your old age as well.