Elder Abuse Is the New Normal
Submitted by Cherfleur
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), elder abuse is an important public health problem. A 2017 study based on the best available evidence from 52 studies in 28 countries from diverse regions, including 12 low and middle-income countries, estimated that over the past year 15.7% of people aged 60 years and older were subjected to some form of abuse (1).
Public health is not mental health. It is unacceptable, contemptible for every person over 60 or 70 years old to be dumped in a sanatorium or in a ‘shrink’s’ office for examination and assessed when they complain of abuse or someone complains on their behalf.
Why then is there no legislation for Elder Abuse in Barbados. Although I have informed on the gravity of this issue since 2018? No White Paper no Green Paper. Nothing. Nada.
****Data on the extent of the problem in institutions such as hospitals, nursing homes, and other long-term care facilities are scarce. However, systematic reviews and meta-analyses of recent studies on elder abuse in both institutional (2) and community settings (1) based on self-report by older adults suggests that the rates of abuse are much higher in institutions than in community settings (see Table).
|Elder abuse in community settings (1)||Elder abuse in institutional settings (2)|
|Type of abus||Reported by older adults||Reported by older adults and their proxies||Reported by staff|
|Overall Prevalence||15.7%||Not enough data||64.2% or 2 in 3 staff|
|Financial abuse:||6.8%||13.8%||Not enough data|
Table: Systematic reviews and meta-analyses
Abusive acts in institutions may include physically restraining patients, depriving them of dignity (for instance, by leaving them in soiled clothes) and choice over daily affairs; intentionally providing insufficient care (such as allowing them to develop pressure sores); over and under-medicating and withholding medication from patients; and emotional neglect and abuse.
Relevant Link: https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/elder-abuse
From the Table (compiled of only reported cases) community elder abuse is much less than institutional elder abuse. That is deceptive and misleading. A greater number of community elder abuse exists, especially in affluent communities. The incidences are greater by trusted persons aka relatives. It is darn hard to detect and more so to prosecute unless the elder gets a chance to get to a trusted outsider or is humble enough to even let on that things aren’t what they should be.
What then is Cynthia Ford doing?
Hoping that old people just disappear?
We are all growing old and most of us are living longer. There are no guarantees. What is responsible in many instances is the lack of opportunities for younger people or people generally to earn liveable incomes or to worse to plan for their retirement. Baby boomers are the target.