Elder Abuse

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Elder abuse is something that happens in every day society. In this paper you will find the history of elder abuse, the different types of abuse, case studies, statistical reports, and what can be done to improve the problem. Some may wonder why elder abuse even exists in a world that is supposed to love others. As people grow up they are taught to be kind and courteous to others, and to love one another. When elder abuse was first discovered in 1975 it was called the “granny battering” (Fulmer, 2005). Elder abuse was first researched in the 1980’s. According to Jeffels (2010), “granny battering” was named by A.A. Baker. This was when elder abuse was first recognized as a social problem. Some states in America began to deal with the problem. It took until 1989 for anything major to be done. This was when an old meeting report was published and was fully acknowledged in the United Kingdom. According to Parker Waichman Alonso (2007) a study was conducted at Cornell University in 2007. This study was funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and was only the second published report to look at patient to patient violence. It can be seen that it took some time for programs to fund research for elder abuse. “On March 23, the president of the United States signed into law landmark health care reform legislation (Thurston & Modugno, 2010),” which parts of this legislation are the following two acts. The elder abuse justice act, and the patient’s safety and abuse prevention act. The patient safety and prevention act makes it where criminal background checks will be conducted for each person looking for employment in nursing homes or other long term care facilities. According to Govtrack (2009), the elder abuse justice act is a bill to amend the Social Security Act to enhance the social security of the Nation by ensuring adequate public-private infrastructure and to resolve to prevent, detect, treat, intervene in, and prosecute elder abuse, neglect, exploitation, and for other purposes. The Elder Justice Act was first introduced on April 2, 2009 and has not yet been reported by the committee (Govtrack, 2009).This act alone should make a great impact to help elder abuse decrease. According to Govtrack (2007), the website states that the patient safety and abuse prevention act is a bill to amend titles XVIII and XIX of the Social Security Act to require screening, including national criminal history background checks, of direct patient access employees of skilled nursing facilities, nursing facilities, and other long-term care facilities and providers, and to provide for nationwide expansion of the pilot program for national and State background checks on direct patient access employees of long-term care facilities or providers. This bill was first introduced on June 7, 2007, and was reported to the community on September 10, 2008. It was never signed by the president and did not become a law (govtrack, 2007). Elder abuse does not just happen in one form, but in many forms. According to the U.S. Administration on Aging (AOA) (n.d.), the different types of elder abuse are physical, emotional, sexual, neglect, abandonment, financial, and self neglect. The AOA clearly defines physical abuse as the use of physical force that may result in bodily injury, physical pain, or impairment. Physical abuse may include acts of violence such as hitting, beating, pushing, shoving, slapping, kicking, pinching, and burning. Inappropriate use of drugs and physical restraints, force feeding, and physical punishment of any kind also are types of physical abuse. Emotional abuse is the infliction of torture, pain, or distress through verbal or nonverbal acts. This type of abuse includes verbal assaults, insults, threats, intimidation, humiliation, and harassment. Treating an older person like an infant and giving an elder person the silent treatment are examples of emotional abuse (AOA, nd.). Sexual abuse is defined as sexual contact...
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