Sunday, February 24, 2013

Older Adult Abuse From Family Caregivers (Daughter’s Video 2:52)

Do people realize the full impact of statements they make about what they would never do, particularly when they are judging others? Many things people said they would never do, regrettably, they have done. This brings up the topic of older adult abuse by caregiving family members. More and more cases are being reported. This abuse can be physical, psychological, and exploitative. It often occurs in shared living situations with caregivers.

Everyone has a breaking point, a moral boundary that must not be crossed. Caregivers overwhelmed with depression, guilt, anger, and other stressors may have difficulty not crossing over this boundary, even when they know they shouldn’t. This is one reason why caregivers must always be mindful of taking care of and monitoring themselves. Assistance from others is not only helpful, but also mandatory to prevent abuse from happening. Healthcare workers can help with these needs and refer caregivers to other resources.

Caregivers need respite time away from patients to share their experiences, gain information from others, and relieve stress. They need programs that save time and make them feel that they are cared about. They need others to be their caregivers by temporarily relieving their burdens, sharing an uplifting activity, being good listeners, and providing encouragement.

What can happen when family caregivers reach their breaking point and cross over? In this video titled Breaking Point, a formerly abusive daughter shares her frightening experience of abuse toward her mother and how she changed:

You can read more about older adult (elder) abuse from a multicultural perspective here:

Frances Shani Parker, Author

1 comment:

  1. Caregivers are obligated to provide their elderly patients with the highest standard of care, regardless of any stress that comes with the job or in their personal lives. This article proves that even family members can be abusive and neglectful to their loved ones. The bottom line is that physical, mental or emotional abuse of an elderly individual is an act of extreme negligence inflicted upon an innocent, helpless victim, and it should be reported immediately to prevent future harassment.