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Elder abuse and death claims - Assignment Example

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In the paper “Elder abuse and death claims” the author analyzes one of the most salient social themes that come out in the story – abuse and how extensive it can go without being disclosed or realized. Victims of abuse have, in many cases, been silenced or intimidated to silence…
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Elder abuse and death claims
The heart-wrenching story that Philips narrates is the reality of what happens in most homes across the globe. The fact that silence has always been the preferred reaction has propelled abuse and exploitation as reported in Philip’s case to unimaginable levels. Phillips, middle-aged individuals, suffering from cerebral palsy and learning disabilities recounts his experience in which those who he should have trusted as caregivers habitually abused him forcing him to fly from his home. For a long period, Phillips keeps these abuses (physical, financial and emotional) to himself only to disclose them at his middle adulthood. The anguish and psychological and physical pain he goes through are immeasurable. Although the challenges seem unbearable, Phillips redeemed his life when he received an altruistic social support that helped him to leave the home and start a new life. His dependence and worthwhile life continues despite his wife’s death.
Reason for the Evident Vulnerability
One of the most salient social themes that come out in the story is that of abuse and how extensive it can go without being disclosed or realised. Victims of abuse have, in many cases, been silenced or intimidated to silence especially if they are minors or physically challenged (Oliver and Charles, 2015: 135). Philips’ case is no exception as he received countless abuses but continued to be quiet for very many years. Impairment/disability according to Bennett (2012:194), are a risk factor that puts individuals at high chances of being abused. Individuals suffering from impairments and disabilities especially physical and mental paralysis are taken advantage of as they lack the capacity for self-dependence. Bonnano (2012: 738) argues that dependence on other people for social support is the reason that makes this group fall prey to abusers.
Disabilities hinder one from acquiring skills that can help them to manage their lives especially in the financial aspect (Larkin, Shields and Anda, 2012: 267). They have to depend on family members and other people to help them sign or fill forms that relate to financial matters. It is at this time that the abusers take advantage to exploit and defraud the victims. Philips’s cerebral palsy situation does not just affect his physical well-being but also his physiological status. This has put him in a situation where he has to depend on them fully for all-around support. Physical as well as emotional abuse becomes almost inevitable. Also, the fact that their physical and mental statuses may not allow them to evade danger during attacks they become highly susceptible to abuse of all kinds.
According to Holland (2009:336), social workers handling cases of this nature should understand silence is the worst enemy that takes down the victims. It is then imperative that both the legal and social support systems be followed to aid the victim. The legal intervention includes linking the victims to relevant legal entities that can help battle out the cases in courts of law and pursue the aggressors. Social support intervention should include helping the victims to relocate and find other places they can live independently such as nursing homes. Enlightening them concerning the importance of airing their problems should also be addressed.
Bennett, D. (2012) “Elder abuse and death claims” Clinical Risk, vol.18, no. 5, pp. 194-196.
Bonanno, G. (2012) “Uses and abuses of the resilience construct: Loss, trauma, and health-related adversities” Social Science & Medicine, vol. 74, no.5, pp. 753-756.
Holland, J. (2009) “Young people and social capital: Uses and abuses?” Young, vol. 13, no. 4, pp. 331-350.
Larkin, H., Shields, J. & Anda, R. (2012) “The Health and Social Consequences of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Across the Lifespan: An Introduction to Prevention and Intervention in the Community” Journal of Prevention & Intervention in the Community, vol. 40, no. 4, pp. 263-270.
Oliver, C. & Charles, G. (2015) “Which Strengths-based Practice? Reconciling Strengths-based Practice and Mandated Authority in Child Protection Work” Social Work, vol. 60, no. 2, pp. 135-143. Read More
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