Ethical Issues

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Ethical Issues in Gerontology Ethical Issues in Gerontology Nowadays, nurses who provide elder care are faced with several legal and ethical dilemmas in a daily basis. Besides to the social and legal dilemma it creates, elder abuse, neglect or also known as elder mistreatment is a massive health care crisis that can lead to long term health complications and even death (Fulmer & Greenberg, 2012). The purpose of this paper is to review the literature and examine the nature of elder abuse in relation to its legal and ethical implications. Furthermore, this paper is intended to discuss the causes and types of elder abuse; professional responsibilities related to reporting, documenting, and intervening in cases of…show more content…
The cause of elder abuse is multifaceted. Generally, a combination of psychological, social, and economic factors, as well as mental and physical conditions of the victim and perpetrator contribute to the occurrence of elder abuse Wagner, Greenberg, & Capezuti, 2002 as cited on (Fulmer & Greenberg, 2012). In the developing world family members provide 60% to 80% of long-term care of their elderly significant others (American Psychological Association, 2012). Consequently, the burden of providing constant physical care needs such as toileting and bathing can be particularly stressful. The complexity of providing care to a physically, cognitively or emotionally impaired elderly individual can also be tremendous. Depression, confusion, Alzheimer’s disease, or incontinence on the part of the aging person can make care giving especially overwhelming ((American Psychological Association, 2012). According to American Psychological Association (2006), in addition to providing in average 20 hours a week at home on care giving responsibilities, about 64% of those family caregivers work either part time or full time out side of home. As a result, the caregivers often suffer from interrupted sleep, chronic fatigue, little or no privacy, and disintegrating personal lives. (National Center for Elder Abuse, 2011). Furthermore, abuse can often escalates when the care giver faces economic hardships, such as unable to pay the cost of health care services for the
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