Elder Abuse Issue - Essay Example

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Elder Abuse Name of the Student Sociology Name of the Concerned Professor July 9, 2012 Elder Abuse It goes without saying that certain sections of the society tend to be more vulnerable to being sidelined or abused. Women, children and the elderly tend to constitute significant proportions of such social segments…
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Download file to see previous pages Before going into the details of the social issue of elder abuse, it will be relevant to attempt at providing a fair definition or meaning of the term “elder abuse.” Simply speaking, elder abuse primarily pertains to doing something or perhaps failing to do something that could lead to harm to an elderly person or may result in harm or risk to an elderly person who is helpless or unprotected or is unable to defend oneself (Elder abuse, 2012). There is no denying the fact that the term “elder abuse” has various dimensions. Elder abuse includes within its ambit all sorts of emotional, sexual or physical abuse (Elder abuse, 2012). Neglecting or abandoning of an elderly person by an individual or individuals who are responsible for the upkeep of that elderly is also considered to be a variety of abuse (Elder abuse, 2012). Elder abuse has a financial aspect too. Misappropriating or using any money or property belonging to an elderly person without one’s consent also amounts to elder abuse (Elder abuse, 2012). As the name of this issue that is “elder abuse” discernibly suggests, it is the elderly people who are most impacted by this form of abuse. Practically speaking, it is next to impossible to quantify as to how many older Americans are being abused, exploited or neglected (Statistics at a glance, 2012). While various studies have suggested that this social evil has harmed thousands of older people, sadly, there is no national statistics that could be used to ascertain its magnitude (Statistics at a glance, 2012). This happens owing to a variety of reasons. Firstly, there is no standard definition of elder abuse and many a times it gets extremely difficult to ascertain as to which acts constitute elder abuse (Statistics at a glance, 2012). Besides, in the absence of a uniform reporting system, the available statistics tend to vary a lot (Statistics at a glance, 2012). Also, little effort has been made to assort comprehensive national data related to this issue (Statistics at a glance, 2012). Due to various factors, the issue of elder abuse could be expected to get more salient with time. In a post-industrial civilization, owing to various factors such as being unable to earn or being unable to extend a physical contribution in the familial or societal context, the status of the elderly has rapidly deteriorated in the social hierarchy (Shenoy, 2006, p.1). Besides, with the breakup of the joint family system and the influx of the era of nuclear families, young people prefer to live apart from their elderly (Shenoy, 2006, p. 1). However, the problem is that many a time this living apart also amounts to totally abandoning or an abject neglect of the older people by the young. Besides, there also are demographic facets to this issue. The number and proportion of the elderly is fast rising in the American population (Shenoy, 2006, p. 1). Being relatively physically frail and in some cases owing to an age related compromising of the physical and mental faculties, many a times the elderly people are not in a position to defend themselves or report instances of abuse. Elder abuse can happen in any setting, be it the home, hospitals, nursing homes or in the community. The first and foremost approach towards dealing with this issue is to enact laws against elder abuse. Already 50 states have enacted laws against elder abuse and have put the mechanisms in place to report the instances of ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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