Essay on Neglect of the Elderly

Words: 1183
Pages: 5

The Neglect of the Elderly

With the growing number of senior citizens in our expanding society, abuse and neglect of the elderly is a widespread issue in our society. Neglect can come in many ugly forms and can be quite horrifying when actually investigated. When we as a society fail to meet the needs of our senior community we are only creating a perhaps dreadful prelude to our own inevitable destiny. Elder neglect is the failure to fulfill obligations to a senior citizen. According to one report, it accounts for 49% of elder abuse cases (Protecting the Older Adult, Nursing, July 2000). Neglect comes in many forms. A caregiver is required to supply sufficient amounts of nourishment, a comfortable shelter, safety,
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This can lead to emotional abuse consisting of intimidation by yelling, blaming or humiliating them. Ignoring elders or isolating them from friends and activities is also considered abusive. The demands and the needs of illness and dependence can generate circumstances in which abuse is more likely to occur. These distressing feelings can spiral as the elder’s condition consistently deteriorates. The pressure of elder care can lead to health issues, mentally and physically, making caregivers impatient, possibly depressed and easily burned out. I had taken care of my husband’s grandmother who was in her eighties for years. She had a mild stroke and also the onset of dementia. I would go in her room in the morning and find all her things packed up and ask her what she was doing. She would reply “I’m ready to go home now”. It was difficult for her to understand that she was home since she didn’t recognize our home sometimes. She would also call me by her daughters’ name that was deceased. The hardest part was when she began to have accidents in her bed. I had put her to bed one evening and my sister-in-law came over and asked to see her. I was shocked when she came out to accuse me of not taking care of her because she was naked and covered in her own feces. I was stunned, but sure enough when I entered her room, there she was in all her glory trying to clean up her mess. Needless to say it took a great deal of assuring my sister-in-law