Elder Self Neglect And Social Justice

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Elder Self Neglect and Social Justice
Nicole Monson
Submitted to Instructor Terry Lee, MSN, RN, BC, in partial fulfillment of
NR410 Introduction to the Profession of Nursing
Regis University
January 29, 2017

Self-neglect in the elderly is an important public health issue. It occurs more frequently than any other form of abuse or neglect and is expected to become even more prevalent as baby boomers retire and government appointed resources for the elderly decrease (MacLeod & Douthit, 2015). Elder self-neglect is a social justice issue that involves internal factors such as the health of the older adult and external factors such as access to necessary resources. For nurses to become a part of preventing …show more content…

In Another study, researchers found that a decline in executive function specifically, rather than a decline in overall mental status, was correlated with a risk for self-neglect (Dong et al., 2010). Currently there is a need for more access to support groups that address issues such as alcoholism and mental illness specifically in the elderly population (Bartley et al., 2011).
In addition to supporting the needs of those with impaired cognitive function, it is also important to be aware of the challenges a decline in physical function can bring. According to Dong et. al (2010) an increased risk for self-neglect was found in older adults who scored poorly on a test of physical performance. The same relationship was found among those who self-reported reduced physical function (Dong et al., 2010). Abnormal physical performance testing was identified in 76.3% of elder self-neglect cases referred by social services agencies (Dong et al., 2010). It has also been found that elderly adults reported to social services for elder self-neglect had an impairment in the ability to perform instrumental activities of daily living (Naik, Burnett, Pickens-Pace, & Dyer, 2008).
The patient’s physical and mental status are not the only factors that contribute to the prevalence of elder self-neglect; external factors must also be considered. Factors such as living alone, a lack of family involvement and

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