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An Exploration of UK Policy on Elderly Abuse and why it appears to be ineffective - Dissertation Example

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Elderly Abuse: A Continuing Reality Introduction Developments in medical technology and pharmaceutical industry have led to better approach in addressing health issues and concerns. Progress in these areas results not only in better management of diseases, but it has efficiently contributed to the longer life-span of people in the contemporary period (Ballyn 2008)…
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An Exploration of UK Policy on Elderly Abuse and why it appears to be ineffective
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Download file to see previous pages However, the process of ageing is approached with anxiety and fear by many (Ballyn 2008). The trepidation associated with ageing results from the truism that as a person gets older, one comes closer to death, which is “a taboo subject for many society and among most young people” (Ballyn 2008, p. 84). Nonetheless, fear and apprehension towards ageing are not enough to justify one of the serious concerns being faced by the elderly – abuse. Elderly abuse is the general term that is used to describe “certain types of harm inflicted to older adults” (McBride 2011, p. 353). This problem has a significant consequence to the health and well-being of the older adult, thus, diminishing the quality of life of the elderly (Ballyn 2008; Lachs and Pillemer 2004; McBride 2011; Nerenberg 2008). Elderly abused is also called ‘granny battering’, ‘elder mistreatment’, ‘abuse and later life’, and ‘abuse of older adults’ (McBride 2011). These different terms have contributed to the seeming vagueness that is inherent in the term ‘elderly abuse’. However, UK Charity on Elder Abuse (AEA) has provided an unambiguous definition of the term, thus, assisting in the clarification of the idea. According to AEA, elderly abuse is “a single or repeated act or lack of appropriate action, occurring within a relationship where there is an expectation of trust which causes harm or distress to an older person” (AEA as cited in McBride 2011, p 353). This definition has been adopted both by World Health Organisation (WHO) and the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse (INPEA). In other words, elderly abuse is ‘intentionally’ causing the older adults harm. Unfortunately, the problem of elderly abuse is not an isolated case. Tens of thousands and possibly increasing to hundreds of thousands of older adults in the UK are suffering from this crime (Donnelly 2008). In 2012, BBC documentary showed an 80 year old lady who is suffering from Alzheimer disease being manhandled by the carers ( There was also the case of an elderly woman who was sexually molested by the volunteer worker who was assigned to take care of her (Ballyn 2008). These are only some of the cases. There are a lot more which are, more often, undocumented even hidden. This scenario continues despite the fact there are many legislation covering elderly abuse. Some of these are Scotland Act of 1968, The Mental health Act of 2003, Mental Capacity Act 2005, Human Rights Act, and European Convention on Human Rights, UN Principles for Older Persons, and other similar legislation are currently enforced to ensure the safety of the elderly. Nonetheless, the ‘hidden crime’ of elderly abuse continues. In light of this, the study will address the question why is it that there is still elderly abuse despite the unrelentless effort of curbing it? This study is of importance, not only due to the timeliness of the issue, but more so because elderly abuse denies dignity and respect befitting to older adults who are human beings and whose humanity need not be ascertained. As human persons, they deserve dignity and respect until the end of their lives and as such, understanding why elderly abuse continues will assist in addressing this issue. Secondary materials have been searched and analysed in order to answer the primary question of the study. In the end, identification of the possible reasons behind ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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