Elder Abuse and Neglect - Paper Example

Date:  2021-09-01 11:51:49
5 pages  (1171 words)
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The conditions and opportunities that occur throughout life affect the way people age, which means, "Aging is first a social destiny and then a functional or organic modification. The regional differences and the time in which the elderly were born and grew up - establishing the gender difference -, raises a series of customs, habits, and relationships different from those that are lived today, that must be recognized. Otherwise, we are talking about cultural abuse. Likewise, the characteristics of their current environment must be identified, within the framework of the economic and social dimensions, as well as the social security, education and health systems (Blowers et al. 2012). It constitutes a stereotyped vision, talking about elder abuse as a generalized problem, which arises because of the high biological and psychological vulnerability of older people due to their age. This vision omits a social, economic and political reality, in which different agents generate mistreatment, and is related to the violation of human rights. The older person cannot only end up being mistreated (being a victim), but it can also be the one who mistreats (being a victimizer). It is a necessary reality to visualize because it affects a significant population group. On one side are the caregivers, and on the other, those relatives who live with the elderly, or are very close to them, as may be the case of adult daughters.

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It requires a broader approach, the analysis of abuse and mistreatment, in such a way as to avoid victimizing the elderly, and to reinforce a social imaginary, which in many cases diverts attention from the problems of exclusion and social injustice, which they are the great agents that generate violence and those that affect the quality of life (Heck & Gillespie, 2013). To the extent that their origins and the way in which they can be identified can be identified, the relationship of the elderly with their environment can be transformed. Indirectly it will also favor the following generations of older adults. Finally, it will be a good basis for the intergenerational relationship.

There are four different theoretical perspectives based on the identified risk factors. None of them provides a theoretical basis that can be tested empirically. These are the situational model; - theory of social exchange; - symbolic interactionism; - feminist theory. The situational model has its roots in child abuse and other forms of family violence. A premise of this model refers to the stress of the caregiver (Navvarro, Gassoumis, & Wilber, 2013). Abuse would be an irrational response to the stress situation. There are social and economic factors linked, e.g. Caregiver unemployment, alcoholism, etc. This perspective has a flaw because it does not consider that many caregivers subjected to stress are not abusers and identify the elderly as the source of stress.

The theory of social exchange, argues that people, as they get older, become more impotent, vulnerable and dependent on their caregivers, characteristics that expose them to abuse (Phillips, 1986). The difficulties of this perspective are that it assumes "ageism" since older people do not automatically become dependent and impotent when they grow old. Symbolic interactionism, states that abuse would be a consequence of interaction within the family or in institutions and arises because of the biological and social aging that usually changes the definition of roles of older people within his social group, which leads him to question his identity, generating stress in interpersonal relationships. Caregivers see older people as their aging, their contacts being difficult. For this approach, old age results from the interaction of factors such as environment, person and social encounters that can affect the aging process. It can be an option for comprehension and explanation of elder abuse by linking it with the theories of Activity, Competence, Subculture and Continuity. Part of this perspective is social learning, which postulates that the abuser learns to be violent when witnessing or suffering violence and the victims learn to accept it. Feminist theory is linked to power imbalances to explain the abuse of women and men.

Several factors allow, facilitate or help to present situations of abuse, and are related to the loss of self-esteem and the status of a legal subject. The most important factor to consider is related to the image of old age. Stereotypes, whether negative or positive, facilitate the relationship of discrimination of the elderly, among themselves, of them with their environment and the context in general towards them. That is why "The old ones will always be the others." The problem of the image involves every one of the members of society and is the basis on which actions and reactions are oriented, even from the same old people (Blowers et al. 2012). The family continues to be the fundamental unit of society and the main provider of care for the elderly, but it must be borne in mind that the changes that are taking place in our society affect this role of the family. It has gone from families in which lived several generations to the nuclear family in which there is no time for care. This family requires emotional containment and advice for the management of the elderly person. There must be alternative services to institutionalization, and these should be oriented to independent people with social problems as well as dependents with some degree of disability, whose priority is the recovery of the degree of functionality and autonomy in the physical, mental and social areas. The lack of policies, plans, and programs that respond to the real needs of the older population is also a form of abuse.

Physical or mental disabilities contribute to older people increasing their dependence on the caregiver for psychological, physical and material support. This constitutes a burden for the caregiver that can generate stress. This situation can be exacerbated by the lack of resources and support services (Gil et al. 2015). The older person is not only a member of a family but also a member of society, with a history of productive life, having created social wealth and for which he has rights to demand that society, through the State, return part of their social contribution through economic benefits, housing according to the needs of the elderly as well as social services that guarantee a dignified, autonomous and free life.

In the history of our civilization, a permanent feature is the neglect of the older person in society and institutions. Violence has always existed in the home, but it is a problem that has been kept hidden until recently. It is called "invisible violence," which is accepted in silence and this generates complicity. Human Rights must be preserved when social groups are vulnerable. The declarations or programs are insufficient, and there must be operational laws that oblige States and communities (Blowers et al. 2012). One way to see reflected the social abuse is through scarce pension amounts that prevent leading an independent and dignified life. This puts older people in a situation of social exclusion, affecting their consumption habits, affecting their chances of survival, etc. The attitud...

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