Introduction Mistreatment and abuse are common in elders

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 victims

and 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 the

person 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 or

hospital. 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 healthcare

professional 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 or

home 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