Social Work 330
February 25, 2015
The article I decided to do my literature review was on elder abuse. Elder abuse is becoming an increasing problem here in the United States. This form of oppression can happen in many different forms including physical abuse, sexual abuse, neglect or abandonment, emotional abuse, and financial exploitation. Physical abuse is characterized as non-accidental force placed on the elderly that can cause pain or injury. This kind of abuse isn’t limited to slapping or shoving but a senior can also be physically abused by a misuse of their drugs whether limiting them or overdosing them. As social workers it is important to look for the signs that go along with physical abuse which include unexplained bruises, broken bones, drug overdose or failure to take medication, broke glasses, or the caregiver refusing you to see the elder alone. Elder abuse is most common among senior who have dementia because the abuser believes that because they don’t remember that it is okay. In terms of diversity many more women are physically abused than men. Elders often allow abuse because they believe that they can’t live without their caregiver.
Sexual Abuse is any contact with an elderly person without their consent. This doesn’t only include physical sex acts, but also forcing the elder to watch pornographic material, forcing the person to watch sex acts, or making the senior undress. Signs or sexual abuse include bruises in private areas, torn clothing, and infections or bleeding. Sexual abuse goes unnoticed because if the care giver is the abuser than they are the ones that are often the ones bathing them to see the bruising.
Elder neglect is the failure to fulfill an elders basic needs as a caregiver. Many times it is unintentional because they are in denial of how much care the elder actually needs. Signs of neglect include weight loss, untreated physical problems, unsanitary living conditions, or being dirty or unbathed. Elder neglect is more than half of the reported cases of elder abuse.
Financial exploitation happens far too often in the aging population. This is the use of the elder’s money without permission by the caregiver or by another person. One’s caregiver may misuse of personal checks or credit cards, steal cash, or forge the senior’s signature. Elderly people also often receive calls trying to scam them and tell them that they won something but must give money to get it, are asked to give money to a fake charity, or ask to give card information to people that claim that they are a bank or credit card company. These type of people prey on the elderly because they believe that they don’t know any better and will willingly give their information over the phone. You can tell if an elder has become a victim of this is you may notice any large withdrawals from their account, changes in the seniors financial situation, financial activity that the senior couldn't have done or missing items, or money from the home. Many times the elders don’t know that they have been taken advantage of until it is too late. The implications to social work are that the article gave