As appointed in the position of a care worker, I am responsible on a daily basis to ensure that the residents I support are protected from harm and safeguarded at all times. Everyone has the right to be free from any form of abuse. It is illegal and there is no excuse to subject a person to any form of abuse.
1.1 Physical abuse is any form of deliberate use of force, resulting in bodily harm, pain or injury. Also included would be involuntary isolation and misuse of medication.
Sexual abuse is when informed consent is not given. However this also covers an individual being coerced or not wishing to give consent as they lack capacity.
Emotional/ psychological abuse is when the action of a person damages the mental wellbeing of an individual. The denial of basic human rights and civil rights are included in the category such as privacy, dignity and choices.
Financial abuse is the misuse of an individual’s money, personal possessions to the benefit of another person.
Institutional abuse is when the routine of an establishment takes president over the individual needs and choices of the individual’s that reside within the premises.
Self-Neglect takes place when an individual fails to take adequate care for themselves. This can be intentional or unintentional due to physical or mental health issues.
Neglect by others is the failure to meet an individual’s basic need for food, personal care, warmth, sleep, social interaction, cultural needs and medical care. This can be either acts of omission (not doing something) or acts of commission (doing something on purpose)
1.2 Physical abuse is probably the easiest to recognise due to it, more often having visible traits. The misuse of medication can be difficult to recognise. It is important to know the individual and if any changes in behaviour is apparent. Multiple or minor bruising in different areas of the body with inconsistent explanations may be noticed. Along with the following signs of physical abuse. Burns, scalds, marks on the skin that seem consistent with slapping, biting or pinching. Splits on the side of the lips that indicate an individual’s mouth is being forced open. Broken bones or untreated bones (old injuries). General signs of neglect, malnutrition and the smell of urine or faeces. A reluctance to undress in front of others or guarded reactions when approached by anyone, also unexplained falls.
Sexual abuse is associated with power and is generally accompanied by both physical and psychological abuse. Signs and symptoms include anxiety and fear of physical contact. Bleeding, irritation or infection of the genital area. There can be signs of torn clothes and inappropriate conversations of a sexual nature. Confusion, withdrawal from social contact, self-harm, self-neglect, nightmares and depression.
Emotional/Psychological abuse is generally hidden and happens over time. It can involve the denial of the individual’s rights to make decisions which in turn can result in the restriction of the individual’s choices. The withholding of care, affection, companionship as well as verbal threats is used often by the abuser to force the individual to do what the abuser wants. Changes in sleep pattern and appetite, unusual weight gain or loss, sadness or uncontrollable crying, depression, low self-esteem, lack of self-confidence, withdrawal and disinterest with the avoidance of wanting to contact others.
Financial abuse can take many forms. A sudden unexplained inability to pay bills, resulting in utilities being dis connected. Missing money, cheque book, bank cards or sudden and unexplained withdrawals of money from the individuals account. A reluctance to spend any money even when finances should not be a problem can arise. Other people showing an unusual interest in the individual’s assets and possessions including pressure to change the terms of a will.
Institutional abuse removes the rights and choices from individual’s that