According to the article by Puchkov (2006, p.5), emphasis is on the importance of family and care that should be given to the elderly in the Russian culture. This research was conducted bearing in mind that elder abuse was a neglected study; its main aim was to find out whether society has a solution to elder abuse, as it was considered social harm. The study aimed at “recognizing elder abuse as a social harm, developing and considering effective measures in the prevention of elder abuse, and highlighting scientific aspects of elder abuse” (Puchkov, 2006, p.5). Studies revealed that elder abuse occurs in the home of the victim and is conducted mainly by his family members.
The main purpose of this study was to find evidence that elder abuse was unethical, hence finding means, and ways of preventing elder abuse.
The study involved four centers of social service for the elderly, which involved 2,460 elderly women and 421 elderly men aged between 60 and 79 years. However, the research revealed that most of the abused elderly were either financially independent or dependent on their abuser. Findings indicated that the abused elderly amounted to 825, whilst 625 witnessed the abuse, and the most affected by abuse were women (Puchkov, 2006 p7).
This article also reveals that various respondents’ reasons of causes of abuse were poor upbringing, the economic situation of the country, hereditary, alcoholism, and misuse of drugs. In addition, the study revealed that elderly abuse varied in types, one being physical abuse by relatives or other people under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Emotional–psychological abuse included abusive actions such as insults, disrespect, ridiculing, humiliating, and denial of both basic and health care.
Financial–economic abuse includes extortion of money from the abused and failure of the abuser to pay his debts, among others. Neglect was the final form of abuse and occurred in cases such as failure of visiting the elderly, refusing to assist the elderly, and scorning the victims among others. Puchkov’s article emphasizes that elder abuse is mostly done by close family members; therefore, it is unnoticed in society.
Elder abuse in Rhode Island (USA)
According to Kohn and Oftedahi (2011, p.47), “by law in Rhode Island, elder abuse must involve the willful infliction of physical pain or willful deprivation of services, by neglect, abandonment, and exploitation, carried out by a caretaker of the elderly.” In addition, between 2000- 2005, 87,422 incidents of elderly abuse were reported. Caregivers are associated with elder abuse, neglect, hostility, conflicts, stress and strain, alcoholism, and high expectation from the elderly. In addition, those who abuse the elderly are associated with abuse in childhood while neglect of the elderly occurs due to anxiety disorders.
Purpose of the study
This study was conducted to identify whether elderly abuse is conducted by paid caregivers, as is the case with the victim’s family members.
A survey conducted of 3005 individuals between 57- 85 on elderly abuse indicated that the rate of abuse was 9% of verbal abuse, 0.2% of physical abuse, and 3.5% for financial extortion. The abusers were children (24%), family (12.3%), spouses (19.6%), and acquaintances (36.2%). According to Kohn & Oftedahi (2011, p.47), a study of emergency room visits indicated that caregivers who neglect the elderly had a history of trauma in their childhood. Interestingly, the neglect was evident even in the paid caregivers.
The authors further add that lower job satisfaction, job burnouts, lack of a conducive working environment, a history of mental illness, and domestic violence could contribute to elderly abuse by the caregivers (Kohn & Oftedahi, 2011, p.48). The research concludes that training in the care institutions is very important as workers can manage stress. In addition, management should ensure that caregivers are motivated by ensuring job satisfaction and a conducive working environment.
Elder abuse in the United Kingdom
According to McAlpine (2008), elderly abuse is an often unspoken and ignored problem in society; however, it is a preventable problem. When the elderly expect to trust their caregivers, they are treated with ruthlessness, thus leading to frustrations. The author further adds that the survey indicated that about 4% of elder people were abused by family members.
The abuse varied from physical, financial, neglect to sexual; however, these abusive actions further lead to low esteem, depression, suicide attempt, and emotional stress from the victim. In addition, the England government has put up some agencies that deal with elderly abuse. They include “no secrets, safeguarding adults, and breaking the silence” (McAlpine, 2008).
Comparing and contrasting the articles
According to Sijuwade (1995, p.247), research revealed that the elderly experienced neglect, sexual abuse, physical abuse, and economic exploitation, especially after retirement. Nevertheless, the study revealed that the highest percentage of the abuse arose from the family members. The author notes that this problem is overlooked hence reaction to it is slower. According to Yaffe, Wolfson, and Lithwick (2009, p.647), when physicians identify elderly abuse, they lack knowledge on how to proceed with their findings, hence hindering justice to the affected victims.
The Russian, United States, and United Kingdom articles are in agreement that elderly abuse is a problem that needs to be addressed and prevented. The articles argue that the rate of responding to these claims is very slow, hence hindering affirmative actions. Nevertheless, the victims become emotionally distressed and are afraid of speaking out, which results in suicide attempts. The Rhodes island article, unlike the rest, emphasizes elderly abuse not only from family members but also from paid caregivers. It further explains that lack of job satisfaction may lead an employee to draw his stress on the patients. Therefore, employees should be motivated to carry out their job effectively.
McAlpine’s (2008) article focuses on the United Kingdom, whereby, some agencies have been put up regarding the elderly, in an attempt to assist them. Elderly abuse is a worldwide problem and if governments would follow the United Kingdom’s footsteps of having protective agencies that cater to the needs of the elderly, then the cases of elderly abuse would be history.
Kohn, R. Oftedahi, W. (2011). Care giving and Eider Abuse. Medicine & Health Rhode Island. Web.
McAlpine, C. (2008). Elder abuse and neglect. Age and Aging, volume 36 issue 2. Oxford University Press on behalf of the British Geriatrics Society. Web.
Puchkov, P. (2006). Elder abuse: current research in the Russian Federation (2004-2006). The Journal of Adult Protection, 8(4), 4-12 (attached document).
Sijuwade, P. 1995. Cross-cultural perspectives on elder abuse as a family dilemma. Social behavior and personality an international journal, Volume 23, Number 3, 1995. Web.
Yaffe, M. Wolfson, C. and Lithwick, M. (2009). Professions show different enquiry strategies for elder abuse detection: Implications for training and interprofessional care. Journal of Interprofessional Care, 23(6): 646–654. Web.