Saturday, February 7, 2015

Older Adult Abuse: Multicultural Attitudes, Intervention (Research, Video 2:16)

Abuse toward older adults continues to be a major concern in terms of barriers for prevention and treatment. Some barriers are due to how members of this population from different racial-ethnic backgrounds perceive, experience, and try to solve problems related to their own mistreatment. Multicultural focus group discussions on older adult abuse case vignettes in the United States reveal the following attitudes of African Americans, English-speaking Latinos, Spanish-speaking Latinos, non-Latino Whites, and African American caregivers for older adults:

1)    While older adult abuse definitions were similar across various racial-ethnic groups, Latino participants introduced additional themes of machismo, respect, love, and early intervention to stop abuse. These themes indicate that beliefs about mistreatment are determined by culture in addition to race and ethnicity.

2)    Most attitudinal differences occurred within the groups, suggesting that perceptions about abuse vary among individuals in addition to culture and racial-ethnic backgrounds.

3)    In identifying abuse scenarios, some participants felt that particular forms of mistreatment are actually the continued persistence of intimate partner violence into old age.

4)    Participants also shared that victims sometimes tolerate abuse and refuse to report it in exchange for perceived benefits such as companionship, security, and fear of placement in institutions.

This research reveals the important need for person-centered forms of intervention that include cultural and racial-ethnic factors as well as individual preferences and care needs when addressing solutions to problems of abuse toward older adults.

Older adult abuse includes not only physical and emotional mistreatment, but also neglect, sexual abuse, and financial exploitation, which alone victimizes one out of 20 older adults in the United States. For more details regarding financial exploitation, refer to the Lichtenberg Financial Decision-Making Screening and Rating Scales information posted by the Wayne State University Institute of Gerontology directed by Dr. Peter Lichtenberg. 

Theft and fraud by loved ones are on the rise. The following WXYZ-TV Detroit video segment led by Sherry Margolis features Arthur Green who was financially exploited by his granddaughter.  

Becoming Dead Right: A Hospice Volunteer in Urban Nursing Homes is available in paperback and e-book editions in America and other countries at online and offline booksellers.

1 comment:

  1. This is a great point, and something we are really in our infancy about in helping elderly and terminal patients through this difficult period. Much improvement is needed. @bretttr