Elder Abuse and Neglect Issues

Elder abuse and neglect is common occurrence in many places. The aging process has many challenges to different people and apart from the natural changes that occur physically, socially and psychologically, many elderly people are subjected to other inhumane conditions like abuse and neglect. These may take different forms, for example, sexual abuse, financial or even physical beating which affect the health of the elderly person.

Annotated bibliography on elder abuse and neglect

American Psychological Association (APA). (2011). Elder Abuse and Neglect: In Search of Solutions. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. Web.

American Psychological Association defines elder abuse a “the infliction of physical, emotional, or psychological harm on an older adult” (APA, 2011). This kind of abuse may take the form of exploiting the elderly people financially or where the caregiver may neglect the elderly willingly or unwillingly. There may be physical abuse to the older adult which may also entail severe beatings. Emotional or psychological abuse involves the actions that may have psychological effects on the elderly persons such as threatening them, insults that cause emotional unrest among others. Sexual abuse is also present in elderly adults which may include inappropriate touching or extreme cases like rape. Intentional misuse of elder funds is also referred to as elder abuse.

In preventing elder abuse, it should first be understood that no person of whatever age should be subjected to abuse. People should also be educated about elder abuse and the effects it has on the elderly. The caregivers should be taught the skills that they should have in handling elderly adults and avoiding abuse.

McAlpine, C. H. (2008). Elder abuse and neglect. Oxford: Oxford University Press

Elder abuse can be defined as a series of incidents or just an isolated incident whereby a person who is trusted by an elderly person does something to them which in turn results in hurting the elderly either physically, psychologically or emotionally. McAlpine (2008) notes that although this problem has been prevalent, it has not been given the attention that it deserves. This problem is said to have begun as early as the 1970s but still very little has been done to curb its spread.

Elder abuse may lead to deterioration of health, inferiority complex, stress, withdrawal from other people and even self-destructive activities like being suicidal on the part of the victims of such behavior. Several organizations are working to help those who have been victims of elder abuse. They include organizations like Age Concern and Help the Aged.

Medlineplus. (2011). Elder abuseBethesda: U.S. National Library of Medicine

Medlineplus (2011) concurs that elder abuse involves mistreatment of an elderly person who may not be in a position to defend themselves from such treatment even though the ill-treatment may result in harming them. The ill-treatment may be inflicted upon an elderly person physically or psychologically by neglecting them or using their property without their consent. It is possible for such treatment of elders to take place within the family where they live or in a different setting like a nursing home. Each country has its own way of detecting and dealing with elder abuse.

Cleveland Clinic Journal Of Medicine. (2009). Elder abuse and neglect: What physicians can and should do. New York: Cornell University Press.

Many hospitals have fewer facilities set apart to deal with elder abuse compared to those for children. This shows how lightly the issue of elder abuse is taken yet it is very prevalent in many communities. Neglect of the elderly can be passive or active. Passive neglect involves the caregivers unwillingly forsaking the duties they are supposed to carry out in meeting the needs of the elderly. Cleveland Clinic Journal Of Medicine (2009) defines active neglect as the act of the caregivers willingly forsaking their duties hence leading to the suffering of the elderly.

McNamee, C. C. and Murphy, M. B. (2008). Elder Abuse in the United States. Washington: NIJ Journal.

In addressing the issue of elder abuse, McNamee and Murphy (2008) point out that the vice has continued to thrive partly due to the doctors’ inability to quickly identify the nature of injuries that an elderly person may be having as a result of being mistreated. Such injuries are often confused with other types of injuries that could have been sustained accidentally. The doctors also fail to identify injuries resulting from abuse because the elderly are prone to many health conditions which may display similar symptoms to those of one who has been abused. It is therefore hard to differentiate between the two. The police are also not well trained to handle cases of elder abuse.

Hildreth, C. J. (2011). Elder Abuse. Chicago: American Medical Association.

Hildreth (2011) sees elder abuse as simply mistreatment of the elderly who are vulnerable because of different factors such as mental illness and such acts of mistreatments are done by trusted people. This has a serious effect on the elders’ health. Cases of elder abuse are rarely reported and therefore, it is very hard to have the actual number of elders who go through abuse and neglect. People who are more prone to being abused include those with mental problems like depression. Caregivers subjected to stress and drug or substance abuse are more likely to abuse and neglect the elderly.

Abbey, L. (2009). Elder Abuse and Neglect: When Home Is Not Safe. Richmond: Virginia Commonwealth University.

To curb the problem of elder abuse and neglect, Abbey (2009) suggests that people from different professions need to be involved and not only the doctor and the caregivers. A team of experts from different professions for example doctors, psychiatrists and police officers among others need to come together and look for a lasting solution to this problem. Training the members of the community concerning elder abuse is also an important tool in eradicating this vice.


The problem of elder abuse is a serious one that needs urgent interventions because of its effect on the elderly. Measures such as training of the caregivers and also collaborative efforts from all people in the community can help eradicate the problem.

Reference List

Abbey, L. (2009). Elder Abuse and Neglect: When Home Is Not Safe. Richmond: Virginia Commonwealth University

American Psychological Association (APA). (2011). Elder Abuse and Neglect: In Search of Solutions. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. Web.

Cleveland Clinic Journal Of Medicine. (2009). Elder abuse and neglect: What physicians can and should do. New York: Cornell University Press.

Hildreth, C. J. (2011). Elder Abuse. Chicago: American Medical Association.

McAlpine, C. H. (2008). Elder abuse and neglect. Oxford: Oxford University Press

McNamee, C. C. and Murphy, M. B. (2008). Elder Abuse in the United States. Washington: NIJ Journal.

Medlineplus. (2011). Elder abuse. Bethesda: U.S. National Library of Medicine.

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