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Elder Abuse & Neglect

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Ocean L Blue 30145454 Community care is about finding ways to enable certain members of society to live as independently as possible. It applies to a range of individuals, including those over the age of 18 who may, through disability, including mental illness or any other incapacities, require social care in order to improve their quality of life. Due to the diversity of community care clients, those who are employed in this area often specialise in specific areas; such as working with the elderly. This essay will explore how community care to the elderly is managed, the role of the social worker when dealing with clients and more specifically when dealing with elderly persons. In addition, identification of categories of abuse and their main indicators in relation to the elderly will be undertaken. Furthermore, identification and explanation of practices used in order to help protect the elderly from abuse and harm will also be given. Social workers play a significant role in community care management; it is their job to assess the needs of individuals within the community that are thought to be in need. A clients needs may arise for a number of reasons: poverty, discrimination and isolation are just a few. ...read more.


Principally excellent communication skills both verbally and non-verbally, sensitivity and the ability to support and manage crisis change through bereavement and changing physical and mental health. They must be mindful that a crisis for an elderly person may leave them in need of help to rebuild confidence, self-esteem and social networks. Additionally, a social worker will need to be well educated in spotting signs of abuse and neglect in the elderly; as these can be difficult to spot due to frailty as well as mental deterioration. Abuse of the elderly can take form in many different ways; it may be physical, emotional, sexual or financial. It could also be in the shape of neglect from their carers, or as a result of them being unable to adequately care for themselves. Frequent arguments or the rise in bad feeling between the elder and care giver or changes in the elder's personality and behaviour can all be indicative of some form of abuse. Unexplained bruises, broken bones or the caregiver's refusal to allow the social worker to see the client alone could point towards physical abuse. Suspicions should also be aroused if there is evidence of bruising around the breast or genital areas, or diagnoses are made in relation to venereal or genital diseases and infections as these could suggest sexual abuse. ...read more.


However, the decision would ultimately be the elders so it is imperative that they are given the information required to make what could be a life changing decision. It is evident that working with the elderly is complex; it is therefore imperative that the social worker utilises their skills to fullness. They must aim to ensure the implementation of various practices when required so as to protect the elderly from abuse and neglect, thus promoting their wellbeing. In 2005 the National Centre for Research and the King's College, London embarked on a two year study of the abuse of the elderly. The results were disquieting; in 2006 alone some 342,000 pensioners had been subjected to some form of abuse in their own homes (Timesonline, 2007). However, for the purpose of complete accuracy the research did not include those suffering from dementia, a group particularly known to suffer from abuse and neglect. Moreover abuse of the elderly is not just restricted to the home and carried out by family members or friends; it can happen in residential and care homes and at times can be carried out by other health care professionals. When being mindful of this, it is indeed a worry that the elderly do not have the same legislative protection as that of children. 1 ...read more.

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