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Elder Abuse Essay

“To care for those who once cared for us is one of the highest honors,” believes Tia Walker, author of the inspired Caregiver.   Through the long shifts as a nurse, to the larger population of elders, caring for those who cannot help themselves is a rewarding job. From the wealthy to the poor, the sick to the healthy, all elders should get the treatment they deserve.

Elder abuse has become a major problem. Abusers of older adults can be both women and men, and may be family members, friends, or even trusted others.The most common type of elder abuse is physical abuse, which is when a nurse intentionally implements any kind of pain or injury on a senior citizen. Other types include sexual, which is any non-consensual act of contact, financial, such as stealing a residents funds or money, neglect, or failure to provide correct care to a resident, emotional, which could be causing distress verbally, abandonment, or when someone deserts an elder, and any kind of self neglect, which is a person not providing the proper escentuals to themselves. One sign can not necessarily indicate abuse, many tell-tale signs that there could be a problem are.  Any bruises, pressure marks, broken bones, abrasions, and burns could be an indication of physical abuse, neglect, or mistreatment. Many Unexplained withdrawals from normal activities, a sudden change in alertness, and unusual depression can be indicators of emotional abuse. Bruises around the breasts, back, or  genital area can occur from any  sexual abuse.  A Sudden change in a residents  financial statues  may be the result of exploitation.Bedsores,  servel unattended medical needs, poor hygiene, and an unusual weight loss are indicators of any possible neglect. Behaviors such as belittling, threats, and other uses of power  over a resident and control by spouses are also  indicators of verbal or emotional abuse.Intense relationships, or frequent arguments between the caregiver and elderly person are also signs.Any of these acts can be considered abuse (What Is Elder Abuse?”).”There’s no such thing as ageing gracefully. I don’t meet people who want to get Alzheimer’s disease, or who want to get cancer or arthritis or any of the other things that afflict the elderly. Ageing is bad for you, and we better just actually accept that,” emphasizes Aubrey de Grey.

Many people believe that overworked nurses may be the cause of why residents are being abused. “Nurses are put in a difficult position because of standardized methods of care and the need to avoid being denied reimbursement by health insurance companies. Instead of critical thinking and deciding what’s best for the individual patient, the nurse’s workload instead depends on inflexible protocols and avoiding institutional penalties,”Insists Nick Angelis, a nurse anesthetist from Florida. Studies show that over 3,300 nurses are stressed out and overworked. About 31% of these nurses say they only get two or three nights of good sleep. Around 77%  say they do not eat well on a normal basis. Long shifts and the on-call availability will wear a nurse down over time.Sometimes nurses will also have to pick up another nurse’s shift if they call off. They will sometimes even have to work twenty-four to thirty-six hour shifts. This can make it hard for nurses to perform to their full ability. In a  2011 survey of about 95,000 nurses found that 36 percent of  those nurses in hospitals and 47 percent of nurses in nursing homes providing direct patient care said their workload caused them to miss changes in their patients’ conditions. This would make it more considerable for an elder to not get there full care and end up being abused.Between 210,000  to 440,000 people are killed due to poor medical care a year. “Our underfunded hospital did not provide for float pool nurses for our floor. The most we could do was to beg a manager to come in and help, and this was unsuccessful 95 percent of the time. We were just told to do our best Schwamberger said. When your best means that your patients are at high risk of not being treated appropriately, many nurses choose to just walk away rather than risk our license for having to provide care in such a risky environment. Most nights on the job, I felt unable to provide my patients the high-quality care that they deserved because of being short-staffed and having access to under-trained residents as our primary point of contact,” she said. During a night shift, one patient didn’t get the diagnostic test needed, and another was not placed in intensive care due to a lack of space stated Beth Ann Schwamberger former pediatric nurse from Pittsburg.  (Nurses: overworked and…”).


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Some nurses say the reason they are overworked is because there are too many seniors and not enough nurses to care for them, often called work overload. By the year 2025, it is estimated that Texas alone will have to inquire over 55,000 additional health care aides to maintain their current levels of healthcare. In about twenty-five years, almost one fifth of Americans will be at least sixty-five years old. A certified nurses aid (CNA) is only allowed to work in their “scope of practice.” That is what tells them what they are allowed to do when taking care of a resident. Due to the lack of doctors and registered nurses, many CNA’s believe they should be allowed to give residents more treatment than their scope of practice tells them to. Another concern is that CNA’s are not getting enough education in school on the elderly, even in their scope of practice. Some believe our society just doesn’t value geriatric work enough (Krisberg).

Others believe it is a privilege to have a growing elderly population. We should focus on what we can do to support aging. Also help create a positive future lies with five key needs among elderly people: health; financial security; the ability and opportunity to contribute and also be productive; the ability to connect with many of their communities; and the opportunity to have fun and to recreate. We must respond to these needs if we want to help them to remain effective contributors in society. This can be achieved, in part, through offering products also, services to enhance and protect older people’s health and wealth so they could continue to contribute. Today over about nine million people in the United States are over the age of sixty. An essayist, John Gardner, explains, “ We’re all faced with a series of great opportunities, brilliantly disguised as insoluble problems.”  Many think that the growing population is a problem but, really it is a chance to better ourselves. Living older is also becoming the new normal. Elderly people are healthier and live longer now more than ever before. Many misconceptions about elders should be overlooked too, for example, about 54% of elders are more comfortable now using technology. Many people do not believe that many elders use technology in their daily lives. This gives us more of a realistic view of how much more active and healthier elders are now. We need to focus on making a positive change in the resident’s life rather than a negative impact if they are in a long term care facility(Novelli).

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