Preventive Measures: Negligence and Elderly Abuse

Care Worker Mistreating Elderly ManWhen adults grow older, they become more physically frail. They may not hear or see as well as they used to, and they may also develop certain cognitive problems including dementia. Because of these factors, they also become vulnerable to abuse and neglect. Elder abuse comes in different forms – it is basically the infliction of physical, emotional, psychological, financial or sexual harm. This can also take the form of intentional or unintentional neglect of an elder by the caregiver. The most important step towards preventing elder abuse is to recognize that no one should be subjected to abusive, neglectful, humiliating and violent behaviour – no matter the age. Here are some ways on how to prevent elder abuse and neglect:

Education

This is essential in preventing elder abuse. Nursing homes have been publicly exposed by the media due to abusive treatment to their patients. Most abuse occurs in the home by family members and/or caregivers. There should be a determined effort to educate the public regarding the special needs and problems of elders as well as the risk factors for abuse.

Shifting Care

This means there should be more than just one caregiver for an elder. Even for just a few hours, this reduces the stress of a caregiver – this is a major factor in elder abuse. Each caregiver needs his or her time alone, free from the worries and responsibilities of looking after someone else. Respite care is especially important for caregivers taking care of patients with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia, as well as people who are severely disabled.

Social Contact and Support

This can be an advantage to the elderly as well as to his or her family members and caregivers. When you involve other people, tensions are less likely to go up unmanageable levels. It is important to have other people that you can talk to – this definitely relieve tensions. Families in similar circumstances tend to bond and share solutions. They also provide informal respite care for each other. When there is a larger group, abuse is less likely to go unnoticed. Isolating elders increases the probability of abuse. A person who is being abused is kept away from other people.

Counselling

This is definitely helpful for personal or behavioural problems in a family as well as the individual with mental health or substance abuse. Counselling can change lifelong patterns of behaviour of it can find solutions to problems caused different stresses.

 

If you have a loved one who is experiencing elder neglect and abuse, contact us via our toll free hotline 1.877.614.0008. Conte & Associates works with clients in Vaughan, Woodbridge, Thornhill, Brampton as well as Whitby/Oshawa, and in the following cities in Ontario: Oshawa, Ajax, Pickering, Clarington, Newcastle, Courtice, Bowmanville, Newcastle, Port Perry, Belleville, and Peterborough. We can help you with your legal concerns.

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