An estimation of about several thousands of American elderly people experience domestic violence in the form of elderly abuse in their homes. The violence violates their rights by making them feel neglected, abused, and exploited. Generally, the term elderly abuse can refer to intentional mistreatment act by a person to a vulnerable adult that causes risk of harm to them.
In addition, the fact the elderly people cannot defend themselves because of the physical frailty that they encounter, they will experience most of the elderly abuse. Today, it is evident that elderly abuse is a serious problem all over the world and one that is likely to grow as many countries experience rapidly ageing populations (American Medical Association, 1990).
The description best describes elderly abuse, which is becoming a severe problem in the society today. The extent of elderly abuse that is committed at home lies between 4 percent and 6 percent. For the elderly people, the consequences of elderly abuse are very serious because the elderly people have brittle bones and prone to prolonged convalescence.
Elderly abuse takes different ways or forms, which include physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, neglect, exploitation, healthcare fraud and abuse, and abandonment. First, elderly abuse can be physical abuse whereby the elderly people experience external forces such as hitting or shoving among other physical torture. Emotional abuse is whereby the elderly face verbal intimidation, humiliation, and ridicule.
Sexual abuse is an abuse whereby a person makes contact with an elder person without their consent or showing pornographic materials to the elder. Neglect focuses on the failure to carry out caretaking obligation (American Medical Association, 1990).
Short-term consequences of elder abuse
Elderly abuse has several consequences, which can be either short-term or long-term. Short-term consequences include increased stress whereby the elderly go through emotional stress that follows the shock from the abuse. This may lead to elderly people experiencing depression, appetite loss, early deaths, and feeling of loneliness.
Another short-term consequence is that elderly abuse increases physical weariness and frailty. In experiencing this, the elderly people may develop ill health, which may include hypertension, arthritis among others. In addition, consequences of elderly abuse have effect on the families as well.
The families may have strained relationships among its members and may as well loose respect and honor in the society. Another consequence lies on the community whereby the community enters into fund raisings in dealing with the effects of the abuse. The effects of elderly abuse weaken the community social cohesion and networks (Lindbloom, Brandt, & Hough, 2007).
Long-term consequences of elder abuse
On the long-term consequences, we have decreasing or declining nutritional levels of the elderly people, which increases the susceptibility to illness that later leads to malnutrition. Another long-term consequence that elderly abuse brings is on the family. The family will experience financial burden because of costs that they will incur in seeking redress to the situation.
Another long-term consequence is that elderly abuse can ignite inter-community tension and revenge. Last, elderly abuse may bring about declining abilities, which consequently worsening the psychological decline in the health of the elderly people. Another very vital consequence is the risk of death to the victims of elder abuse (Laurence, Tina, & Segal, 2011).
In conclusion, it is evident that elderly abuse is a vice that is taking shape into our communities today. It is the responsibility of the nation as a whole to protect and care for the elderly. It is possible to counter this vice of elderly abuse through provision of social services whereby the elderly people are under care of a health and social service network. The other solution is through educating the public on the importance of preventing elderly abuse (American Medical Association, 1990).
American Medical Association, (1990). American Medical Association white paper on elderly health: Report of the Council on Scientific Affairs. Arch Intern Med, 150, 2459–2472.
Laurence, R., Tina, B., & Segal, J. (2011). Elder Abuse and Neglect: Warning Signs, Risk Factors, Prevention, and Help. Retrieved November 25, 2011, from http://helpguide.org/mental/elder_abuse_physical_emotional_sexual_neglect.htm
Lindbloom, E. J., Brandt, J., & Hough, L. (2007). Elder mistreatment in the nursing home: A systematic review. J Am Med Dir Assoc, 8(9 ), 610–616.