Elder abuse happens because of the abuser s power and control over an older person. In some cases, it may also be linked to an abuser s:
drug or alcohol problem, history of anti-social behaviour, or mental health problems. Abuse is more likely to happen when the family is going through a period of high stress, including the stress of looking after the older person. Old age is a difficult time for many people, a time of failing health, reduced income, the loss of a meaningful role, or the death of loved ones. These problems can create great unhappiness for older people and can damage relationships with spouses and children. In extreme cases, this damage can lead to abuse. The abuser may not allow people to visit or talk to the older person. The older person may be isolated from the community, social services, and even from other family members. In some cases, the elder abuse may be part of a cycle of violence in the family.
The person who abuses an elderly parent might have been abused by that parent. The elder abuse could be a form of Бgetting evenБ with the parent for past wrongs. A staff member in a long-term care home might abuse residents physically or mentally. Abusers may be frustrated staff members who are not able to do their jobs properly. A staff member in a long-term care home might abuse residents physically or mentally. Abusers may be frustrated staff members who are not able to do their jobs properly. This can be because of poor training, low pay, over-work, or underБstaffing. Staff could also have personal problems that affect the way they provide services to older people under their care. There is no excuse for abuse. The personal circumstances or problems of the caregiver do not excuse abuse of the older person. These problems may be factors in the abuse, but they do not justify it.
There is no single and simple answer to this question. Many factors seem to contribute to abuse and each case has its own unique mix of factors. In some families, the members have a way of relating to each other that is generally hostile and non-nurturing. The adult children may have been abused by their parents, and having learned to interact in such a manner, carry it on into the next generation. Or there may be some unresolved family conflicts which foster abuse. The family may have a history of wife abuse which carries on into old age. Or in some cases, the roles may become reversed if the former abusing partner becomes incapacitated and his wife seizes the opportunity to retaliate. Any form of addiction can lead to the break-down of a person s ability to cope and function appropriately. These addictions can often lead to the financial, psychological and physical abuse of others. According to Charmaine Spencer of Simon Fraser University a study examining elder abuse case files from agencies across Canada found that severe drinking bouts by the abuser lead up to the abuse in 14. 6% of the cases.
In another 18. 7% of the client records, the clients indicated that the abuse was secondary to alcoholism. Problem gambling can also make life very difficult. It may be a senior themselves who is gambling away money that is necessary for their own well-being, or it may be a family member that is illegally accessing funds to feed their addiction. Ageism is a prejudicial view of older adults. Whether intentional or not, abuse may occur as a result of ignorance surrounding the aging process and the needs of elderly people. Abuse and Neglect can result from the false negative stereotype of older adults having no useful role, combined with non-acceptance of the increasing dependence that can accompany old age.