Elder Abuse In Health Care

Decent Essays
Elder abuse has sadly become progressively more prevalent, yet still highly underestimated across Canada. Unfortunately, there is still little to no gaining of recognition in recent years on the subject matter, with either increased campaigning or research, leaving many older adults discriminated against and neglected by the public as well as by their loved ones. With older adults having a higher susceptibility to abuse, especially since they are classified as vulnerable individuals, many are often found abused in their own home, in relatives’ home or in health care facilities. This paper provides an overview of how our society deals with the social injustice of elder abuse in reference to older adults and within the Canadian health care system,…show more content…
Although many believe there is a narrow range of abuse types among elders, the abuse in which an older adult endures can be physical, psychological, sexual, financial exploitation, neglect and spiritual abuse, according to the Department of Justice Canada (2010). It is extremely important for elder abuse to be taken as a serious problem as it is often overlooked or left undetected, and is commonly seen as less significant compared to domestic abuse or child abuse (De Donder, Witte, Brosens, Dierckx and Verte, 2014). Those who are unable to care for themselves and require assistance from either family members or a long-term care facility are particularly vulnerable and predisposed to different types of abuse. Post, Page, Conner, Prokhorov, Fang and Biroscak’s (2010) research findings suggest that among those who are sixty and older, and have suffered at least one type of abuse, more than half of them claimed to have also experienced other types of abuse as…show more content…
A way in which nurses can bring more positive outcomes towards this social injustice is to reduce the stigma that comes along with ageism by taking responsibility and providing recommendations to our society. Many need to be educated on the problem of elder abuse, and one way of doing so is to identify the problem of abuse and not contribute to its ageist factors. It is important for nurses to properly diagnose the abuse upon initial screening, know when to refer patients to additional assessment and know how to use community/institutional resources effectively based on each individual case (Imbody and Vansburger, 2011). Another factor that is of utmost importance is to be competent when dealing with those affect by elder abuse directly and indirectly. Competent nurses can offer their best practice for the abused patient when using the proper research; collaborations with other professionals; professional training with therapeutic technique and crisis prevention; removing all ageist paradigms and mindsets found in culture and society (Imbody and Vansburger, 2011). Unfortunately, as there are still increased research gaps to understanding abuse of older adults, nurses must take initiative when dealing with patients and be thorough as well as use the appropriate assessment tools and strategies (Gutman and Yon,
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