Search This Blog

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

WHO : Elder maltreatment

Fact sheet from WHO with regards to elderly people have experienced some form of maltreatment at home. It worth your time to read, especially if you in care of senior citizens. Excerpt :

" Elder maltreatment is a single or repeated act, or lack of appropriate action, occurring within any relationship where there is an expectation of trust which causes harm or distress to an older person. This type of violence constitutes a violation of human rights and includes physical, sexual, psychological, emotional; financial and material abuse; abandonment; neglect; and serious loss of dignity and respect.

Scope of the problem

Maltreatment of elderly people is an important public health problem. While there is little information regarding the extent of maltreatment in elderly populations, especially in developing countries, it is estimated that 4-6% of elderly people in high-income countries have experienced some form of maltreatment at home. However, older people are often afraid to report cases of maltreatment to family, friends, or to the authorities.

Data on the extent of the problem in institutions such as hospitals, nursing homes and other long-term care facilities are scarce. A survey of nursing-home staff in the United States of America, however, suggests rates may be high:

36% witnessed at least one incident of physical abuse of an elderly patient in the previous year;
10% committed at least one act of physical abuse towards an elderly patient;
40% admitted to psychologically abusing patients.
There is even less data on elder maltreatment in institutional settings in developing countries.

Abusive acts in institutions include physically restraining patients, depriving them of dignity (by for instance leaving them in soiled clothes) and choice over daily affairs, intentionally providing insufficient care (such as allowing them to develop pressure sores), over- and under-medicating and withholding medication from patients; and emotional neglect and abuse.

Elder maltreatment can lead to physical injuries – ranging from minor scratches and bruises to broken bones and head injuries leading to lasting disabilities – and serious, sometimes long-lasting, psychological consequences, including depression and anxiety. For older people, the consequences of maltreatment can be especially serious because their bones are more brittle and convalescence is longer. Even relatively minor injuries can cause serious and permanent damage, or even death.

Globally, the number of cases of elder maltreatment is projected to increase as many countries have rapidly ageing populations whose needs may not be fully met due to resource constraints. It is predicted that by the year 2025, the global population of people aged 60 years and older will more than double, from 542 million in 1995 to about 1.2 billion."

No comments:

Post a Comment