“Aging is a complex and fascinating process, in the not so distant future, we will be faced with the reality of more Americans over the age of 65 than ever before. On July 1, 2004, 12 percent of all Americans were over the age of 65,’ The Census Bureau also reports that by the year 2050, people age 65 and over will comprise an impressive 21 percent of the U,S. population.” (McCauley 74)
Elderly abuse sometimes goes unnoticed because of its complexity. Like children, elderly people can sometimes be suppressed and have little or no resources to seek action against the abuse. Most elderly people resist reporting any sort of abuse to the authorities because they are usually victimized by their children. A lot of the times senior citizens fail to care for them selves and neglect their on livelihood. Some of the common signs that may indicate a failure to promote self-care in senior patients are: malnutrition, poor body hygiene, poor oral hygiene, failure to comply with medical/dental needs, failure to comply with medication protocols, failure to comply with bill payment, failure to keep a clean home, and disinterest in social/family interactions.” (McCauley 74) Depression is the main cause of self neglect and self abuse among elderly people. After loosing a spouse, child or a loved one they feel as if they’ve lost their purpose to live and stop caring about their lives like they once did.
Just like domestic abuse, elderly abuse also has five distinct characteristics. Physical abuse means the “use of physical force that may result in bodily injury, physical pain, or impairment. It may include, but is not limited to, shaking, slapping, kicking, pinching, and burning. In addition, it may also include the inappropriate use of drugs and physical restraints, force-feeding, and physical punishment.” (McCauley 76) Sexual abuse means the “nonconsensual sexual contact of any kind with an elderly or disabled person or any person incapable of giving consent. It includes, but is not limited to, unwanted touching and all types of sexual assault or battery, such as rape, sodomy, coerced nudity, and sexually explicit photographing.” (McCauley 76) Emotional or psychological abuse is defined as an “infliction of pain, anguish, or distress through verbal and/or nonverbal acts such as: verbal threats, insults, intimidation, humiliation, and harassment.
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