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Elder Abuse Law

Elder abuse is a term which is generally used to describe some kinds of harmful actions perpetrated towards senior citizens (including hitting, striking, sexual abuse, financial, emotional abuse, malnourishment, or other neglect). The synonyms of this term can be "abuse in later life", "senior abuse" or "elder mistreatment."

 

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A common definition which gives a detailed idea about elder abuse may be something on the order of "an act occurring within any trusting relationship in society in which someone does harm to an older person."

In recent years, with the advancement of technology people can actually extend how long they live. More people than ever before live for over 80 years and in some parts of the world octogenarians are not uncommon.

As people age, many will not have ability to move freely because they suffer from different kinds of diseases, disorders and conditions. They may need someone to help them in their daily activities as well as health related issues.

But seniors may not receive the proper treatment or care they need. Other people (including families and friends) may think that these older people are useless to the society and they may hurt the elderly because they think that these people are slow and inefficient.

Elder abuse is usually a form of domestic violence, though it can occur in nursing homes and hospitals as well. At home many times the family takes care of their elderly parents.

This is where a power different between parents and grown children can occur. The parents who used to be the caregivers to the children have now switched roles and now it is the grown children who are the caregivers.

This role reversal may be psychologically difficult for both parties. Elderly people may not want to give away their power be it emotional, psychological, physical or financial. The grown children may feel burdened with their new roles plus old, unresolved childhood resentments and other issues may cause interpersonal conflict between the two parties.

Family counseling may be needed in order to sort out these interpersonal problems including how the family dynamics have changed. It is recommended that all family members living in the same house with the elderly person participate.

The elderly person may feel like they have little options in regard to their living situation. This is when the "It Takes a Village to Raise a Child" mentality must kick in for all people who are in contact with the elderly person. Family, friends, nurses, doctors and others need to have the "It Takes a Village to Protect the Elderly" mentality.

Suspected cases of elder abuse need to be reported. Elderly persons have rights under the laws of each state that must be protected.

And, the United States is not the only country with elder abuse laws. Many countries have realized the problem of elder abuse and the laws are established in different countries with the same goal, which is to protect the elderly.

In 2006, INPEA, which is the International Network for Prevention of Elder Abuse, decided to set June 15 of each year as the World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. More countries will pay attention to this day and the growing problem of elder abuse in all countries.

Two federal laws, the Older Americans Act of 1965 (OAA) and the Vulnerable Elder Rights Protection Program of 1992 helped states give a framework to their own specific sets of laws against violence to seniors.

The elder abuse laws vary in each state. So, check with your state on what the specific laws are and what is needed to carry them out. Here is a link to Elder Abuse Hotlines for every U. S. state which is the first step in upholding elder abuse law. Report the issue first and if needed then retain an attorney second to protect the rights of the senior you are concerned about.



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 


 

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