Regardless of how old someone may be, they deserve good and high-quality treatment as valuable members of the community. It’s very disturbing that the elderly in the society face abuse in various ways. The American Psychological Association reports that approximately 2 million seniors face cases of abuse in one form or the other. For this reason, preventing elder abuse is a top priority that members of the society should highly consider. After having done so much in their active years in work and life in general, it’s time for seniors to retire and enjoy a peaceful elderly life. Thus, it’s the responsibility of members of the society to prevent elder abuse at all costs.
Forms of Elder Abuse
Before talking about ways of preventing elder abuse, it’s important to first look at the various forms older adults face.
Physical abuse is one of the forms of abuse that the elderly go through today. If you happen to see older adults with bruises on their bodies, this is a sign that they are victims of physical abuse. Also, unexplained sores and injuries are an indication of physical abuse against the elderly. Worse still, denying seniors adequate food, water, medicine, and assistive devices is a serious form of abuse.
Additionally, elderly persons face emotional abuse, which is equally bad to their psychological health. One of the ways through which one can cause emotional abuse to an older person is by isolating them from people and activities that they love. In the same vein, humiliating them in public just because they are old is yet another factor contributing to deep emotional abuse. In addition, making threats and intimidating the elderly can cause adverse emotional pain and, as a result, affect their quality of life in a big way.
Unfortunately, sexual abuse is also a common form of abuse that seniors face. Once you notice that there is a likelihood of an elderly person having gone through sexual abuse, you should report the case to the relevant persons. Lastly, there are cases of neglect as well, as a form of elder abuse. You will notice that an elderly person is facing neglect when they lack clean and proper clothing, when they live in a dirty and cluttered home, and when the home they live in lacks basic amenities like electricity and clean water.
Ways of Preventing Elder Abuse
Having known the different forms of elder abuse, it’s now time to understand the viable ways through which you can prevent older adults from abuse. One of the ways of preventing elder abuse is avoiding isolating them. Isolating seniors exposes them to psychological abuse, which makes them feel unworthy and undeserving in the community. In order to prevent neglect and depression among the elderly, you should avoid isolating them at all. Instead, take care of them and show them that they matter to the society. Moreover, staying in touch with elders is a great way of preventing elder abuse. This means that family members should be on the forefront to take care of them and watch out for any signs of abuse. With family members taking good care of their elders, it’s certain that they won’t suffer from abuse.
Of great importance still, encouraging elderly people to be active in community activities can be of great help in keeping elderly abuse at bay. The good thing with this is that seniors get to connect with things they used to love and enjoy during their earlier years. What’s more, elderly people should not be left alone with people who have a tendency of abusive or violent behavior. Such people are highly likely to repeat the same negative behavior and hurt the elderly persons under their care. Since seniors are highly vulnerable, you can’t leave them with people with abusive and violent tendencies. Take care of older persons by providing them with an environment that protects them from elder abuse.
The elderly are highly valuable and important people in the community. For this reason, they deserve to live a healthy and peaceful life. Since they are hugely vulnerable and need help to live a good life, you have the responsibility of taking care of them. Without adequate care, it’s highly likely that they will be victims of elder abuse.