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, security, medication, and personal requirements such as clothing and hygienic supplies to meet their basic needs. If these needs are not met it is simply considered neglect. Personal hygiene to maintain an elderly person’s dignity is paramount. If they are unable to bathe themselves or go to the bathroom on their own, they could end up sitting in their own filth for hours, resulting in painful skin burns, which is horrific. Anyone would be reported to CSS if they did that to their infant children, therefore the same should apply to seniors. Soiled, foul-smelling bedding or critter infestations in the home of any kind are a sure sign of neglect. In nursing homes where the staff is mostly inadequate, residents are often neglected due to the facility’s desire to cut costs. Residents can become dehydrated or undernourished if staff does not ensure the elderly actually eats their meals and has ample fluids. Not enough time is spent with each person to see if they might need help in case they are unable to properly feed themselves. Weight loss is an absolute sign that a resident might have a malnutrition concern. When residents have restricted mobility even a glass of water or tissue across the room could be impossible to reach....
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