Free «The awareness of physical abuse of the elderly in living facilities     » Essay Sample

Describe briefly the purpose of the Senior Project.

The purpose of this project is to investigate the span of physical abuse to elderly people in living facilities. The project establishes the types of physical abuse, why they occur and at the same time the effects of this abuse for the rest of their lives in those facilities. Duthie, Katz & Malone (2007) the purpose can also revolve around the acts of commission or omission that result from harm or threatened harm to the health or welfare of an elderly person by a caregiver or other trusted person. The project investigates why elderly physical abuse is the most prone. Apart from physical abuse Duthie, Katz & Malone (2007) established that other forms of elderly abuse include psychological abuse, sexual abuse, financial exploitation and self neglect. The project could be significant in finding out why elderly individuals with documented physical mistreatment have a high mortality rate than elderly persons who never reported physical abuse in their living facilities (Duthie, Katz & Malone, 2007).   

Why is it worthwhile and important?

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With the information about elderly physical abuse in living facilities the concerned authority is capable of determining methods of minimizing such cases besides coming up with regulations which should be availed to govern elderly living facilities. According to Duthie, Katz & Malone (2007) the awareness of physical abuse of the elderly will determine if it is a pervasive public health issue or a legal issue and if its incidence is likely to rise as the proportion of such individuals increases within the population and as their life span increases. Summers, Hoffman & American Public Health Association (2006) from the research project it will be possible to the feelings they undergo after the physical abuse. Quinn & Tomita (1997) found out that with this information it is possible to judge whether physical abuses to elders occurs intentionally. Quinn & Tomita (1997) also says that the project should be aimed at eliminating any sense that the caregiver is being blamed for the symptoms of physical abuse. Another importance is that the project gives the accusatory implications of physical abuse to the victims. In their further studies Quinn & Tomita (1997) said that physical abuse to elderly people living in the facilities establishes if the abuse stems from an abnormal expression of the care giving role. 

What problems, misunderstandings or issues does it address?

The project determines the problems associated with failure of caregivers to resolve significant needs of the elder despite an awareness of the available resources. Quinn & Tomita (1997) says that the misunderstanding arises when physical abuse to the elderly is seen as an active intervention by a caregiver in such a way that unmet needs are created or sustained with resulting to physical abuse. Quinn & Tomita (1997) indicated that problem revolving around this issue is that a nonjudgmental attitude is imperative when investigating cases associated with physical abuse in elderly people. In this context Quinn & Tomita (1997) says that a great deal of time and effort must be expended before it can be determined that mistreatment of an elder has really occurred and therefore prejudgments are made and are acted upon by the caregiver. Quinn & Tomita (1997) thus said that the result may be that the client and the care giver could decide to collude to keep the worker out of their sphere or form the facility.

A major problem may be that a physically abused elder in a living facility "may feel ashamed about the abuse and therefore believe that providers cannot or do not to help them" (Summers, Hoffman & American Public Health Association, 2006 p. 84). Besides this the elderly may feel protective of their partner, caregiver or a friend who is doing the abusing to them and therefore fail to report. Summers, Hoffman & American Public Health Association (2006) continue to indicate another problem is that they fear telling about the physical abuse may put them at risk of more violence. The issues which should be addressed is the factors that may prevent caregivers in those facilities form asking elderly clients about physical abuse. These factors according to Summers, Hoffman & American Public Health Association (2006) include "lack of awareness of the prevalence of elder physical abuse, discomfort with the feelings evoked by hearing about the abuse, concern about the time involved in asking about and dealing with abuse if uncovered" (p. 84).  

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What content are you going to focus on?

The content to be focused on is the role of health practitioners in elderly people abuse and the ethical principles of beneficence and nonmaleficence requirements of those who are knowledgeable of the abuse to the elders. Summers, Hoffman & American Public Health Association (2006) says that the content should also be based on the requirements which should be used to notify authorities regarding suspected physical abuse to the elders. At some cases mandatory reporting laws can create difficult ethical dilemmas. Anderson & McFarlane (2005) says that it is important to investigate why many community dwelling elders are become prisoners in their homes hence they end up in care giving facilities.  As a result the content should encompass both community and facilities safety for the elderly people. Another important aspect is resolving physical abusive situations which may require involvement of protective agencies. Duthie, Katz & Malone (2007) on the other hand indicated that the content should establish the barriers which prevent the recognition of elder mistreatment by health professionals or care givers in the facilities. The content should also include means of creating awareness and education regarding physical abuse of elders in the living facilities. In addition the content should include the appropriate use of drugs and physical restraints such as force feeding and physical punishment (Duthie, Katz & Malone, 2007).  


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There are several subtopics which the project should be based on. According to Duthie, Katz & Malone (2007) these subtopics include: the barriers to recognition of elder mistreatment, ethical principles which should govern elderly living facilities. Another major area of concern should be the challenges faced by physically abused elders in their living facilities. Also it would be important for the project to encompass methods of preventing the occurrence of this type abuse and the improvements which should be made in the living facilities to reduce the abuse. Duthie, Katz & Malone (2007) continue to indicate that it is important to include the types of physical mistreatment in the elders for example physical injury, pain and impairment and the effects of the mistreatment to the elders. Duthie, Katz & Malone (2007) continue to say that another subtopic should be risk factors associated with for example shared living and isolation of the elderly people. Intervention should be included to reduce the effects lack of social support. The legal process is very crucial as a subtopic for the project because elder mistreatment cases should not be left unattended. Finally a subtopic on reporting and accessing social support for physically abused elders should be included in the project.   

How are you going to do it?

In order to come up with a comprehensive project I will use Primary sources which will involve the sources of data such as Interviews and questioners. I will also use secondary sources of data which will encompass books and journals from Conference proceedings. All this will be ideal sources of information about this project. Besides this I will come up with a project plan detailing the procedures I will use to obtain precise research and the time frame or the work plan. Each section in the project will be allocated sometime within which it will be completed. The project will be closely observed to reduce deviations which may arise from lack of the required information and also to avoid giving irrelevant information about the topic.

 Who and what will help you?

Great help will come from individuals who work in care giving facilities for elderly people. This is because they handle cases associated physical abuse on the elderly people. Health practitioners in the public health can also play an important role in providing information related to physical abuse of elderly people living the care giving facilities. Duthie, Katz & Malone (2007) established that helpful information can be obtained from offices of Elder Justice within the administration on Aging. Apart from these sources Elder justice coordinating council an Advisory Board on Elder Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation could be the ideal sources of this information.

 Note special collections. Characterize disciplines and literature?

The disciplines involved in this project will include health, public health, justice and criminal investigation. Duthie, Katz & Malone (2007) says that health care workers are in a unique position of giving information associated with elderly people mistreatment. According to Duthie, Katz & Malone (2007) this is because of their opportunity to do assessment of the geriatric patients on routine basis. Literature can also be obtained from clinicians who are also known to understand the vulnerability of the elderly population. Ethics is another discipline which may play an important role in this project because it will provide the required literature on the dilemmas faced by those working in those care giving facilities for the elderly people. Legal studies come in the place of justice and investigations which should be conducted after physical abuse on the elderly people.      

What form will the final project take?

The final project will be in a research form which will be dependent on data from primary sources and also secondary sources. Duthie, Katz & Malone (2007) says that research in the field of elder physical abuse mistreatment is complicated and hence the definitions and inclusion of many factors may be unclear. Duthie, Katz & Malone (2007) says that compounding the problems of research in elder physical abuse is lack of prospective data. For the case of this project as a research I will be concerned about the lack of enough national data on the frequency of occurrence of physical abuse on elderly people in their care giving facilities.

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