Caring For Loved Ones : Elder Abuse Essay

Decent Essays
CARING FOR LOVED ONES: ELDER ABUSE IN THE U.S. Although there are agencies and policies to protect the elderly, elder abuse is prevalent in the United States due to ambiguity, underreporting, and underfunding. In 1994, the National Long Term Care Survey found that over 7 million family members provided 120 hours of care to elders. It is extremely demanding and hard to care for the elderly, which causes stress that can then lead to neglect and/or abuse. In some cases, it is a learned behavior resulting from the perpetrator being a victim of previous abuse (National Research Council 2003). Elderly abuse is found to affect one in ten Americans (Roberto 2016). In 2014, it was estimated that almost 10% of Americans aged 60 or older experienced abuse (O’Brien 2015). Of the few studies that have been conducted, less than 15 were funded by the National Institute on Aging (National Research Council 2003). Results from these studies have indicated that elder abuse is a prevailing social issue that needs attention, according to the National Center on Elder Abuse, for every one case known, there are 24 that are unknown. One of the biggest issues is the ambiguity of elder abuse. There is no solid definition of elder abuse, but it is known that it can be neglect, physical, mental, emotional, financial, and even sexual. Another problem is the complexity when it comes to the elderly, it is hard to distinguish accidents and illnesses from abuse (National Research Council 2003). CAUSES,
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