Background and Context According to Laumann, Leitsch, and Waite (2008), currently, the cases of abuse to the elders by those taking care of them are at the highest level ever in the history of the United States. To my surprise, the cases of elder’s abuse are common across all races and regions in the nation. As stated by the National Research Council (2014), the elder-abuse issue has been there since the beginning of the nation. However, it has received little attention from policymakers and law enforcement agents. When the law does not punish the wrongdoers, it makes others to get involved in the evil deeds. Also, the fact that the senior individuals cannot report those who harass them mainly family members reduces chances of elder abuse coming to a stop. Even more, the fear of getting neglected further forces the victims to remain silent.
As a result of little cooperation from players in older adults’ welfare, the victims continue getting hurt, which harm their lives. The results of elder abuse have been seen as life-threatening, and Dong, Chen, Chang, and Simon (2013) claim that elders who undergo any form of abuse are three times more likely to commit suicide or die of psychological problems. Pillemer, Burnes, Riffin, and Lachs (2016) estimates that more than ten percent of elders in the United States undergo verbal, sexual, psychological, physical or financial abuse during their lifetime. According to Owens, & Cooper (2010), an individual diagnosed with dementia (which is very common amongst elderly groups) suffers a higher risk of undergoing any form of the listed abuses. The study shows that more than 15% of mistreatment cases are ignored in health facilities, and that leaves the victims in danger of excessive abuse. As such, it is clear that elder abuse happens most of the time than thought. Additionally, the effects of the spread of the habit are more than the involved partners would like to let it be known. For instance, Shankardass and Rajan (2018) estimate that more than $5.3 billion of federal government’s budget towards healthcare ends up covering for elder-abuse treatments. The biggest problem is that, while elder-abuse has many negative impacts that can be prevented; there is little goodwill to settle it.
When elders are mistreated, they develop psychological problems. These effects can either be long-term or short-term. Whichever the case, the effects easily disorient their lives and those around them. Shankardass&Rajan (2018) explains the reported psychological results of abuse include nervousness, depression, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). Laumann, Leitsch, and Waite (2008) further explain that the degree of damage caused is directly related to age effects are more severe for older individuals. That is mainly because the victims get the feeling of sadness, betrayal, hopelessness, confusion, and when the oppressor is around. Importance and Impact of the Problem Understanding the effects of abusing elders can give people a sense of responsibility towards them.
Explaining the effects of elderly mistreatment and the cost incurred because of the act, it is an essential step toward controlling the negative attitude of family members and caregivers. The more informed the people are about the issue, the more likely they are to come up with solutions that will last for long. It is clear that many of the harassment cases are committed without the offenders minding the results of their actions. In case the problem is not well addressed, it is obvious that the cases of elders’ abuse will keep increasing over the years. That is because the number of aging persons keep growing too. As such, it is important to create awareness of the results of elders’ abuse to increase chances of ending the dangerous trend. Dong, Chen, Chang, and Simon (2013) advises that when individuals attain an age of 60 and above, they should be left to enjoy their lives and not get harassed. The authors also claim that controlling elder harassment requires an orderly review of the policies guiding the identification, arrest, and prosecution of the oppressors.
However, that requires a broad understanding of the impact of mistreating the aging, so that the policies put in place condemn the conduct of the abusers. Barnett, Miller-Perrin, & Perrin (2010), believe that it is immoral and sad that older adults can be treated in cruel ways that bring them pain and suffering, especially by the people who should care for them. Awareness should be made so that the people may know the impact of mistreating the elderly so that they may establish a culture of care towards them (Owens, & Cooper, 2010). That means, the aging group deserves more respect than what most people give them.
This project will have a great value towards my success in academics and wide knowledge in the field of healthcare. I am currently pursuing a course leading to attainment of a Bachelor’s degree in Public health. Personally, I see the need to treat older adults well at all times. Learning the impacts of elder’s mistreatment on their emotional wellbeing will increase my concern for them and shape me into a skilled medical practitioner. More so, I will become familiar with the rules and policies which should be put in place to stop the habit. By using my experience to the discoveries of the research, I am sure I will come out a competent expert in the field of public health. In my personal life context, I will be appropriately equipped with skills in dealing with the cases related to the aging. It will also motivate me into conducting further research on the emerging trends and strategies of preventing similar incidents in the future.
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