explain the actions to take if you suspect abuse

    +1  Views: 1321 Answers: 5 Posted: 7 years ago

    5 Answers

    Report to the appropriate authority, asap!

    Do not look away and ignore it. It's better to be wrong about your suspicions than to allow someone to be damaged in some way. Err on the side of being helpful.

    " Abuse is defined as 'a single or repeated act, or lack of appropriate action occurring within any relationship where there is an expectation of trust which causes harm or distress to the older person' (Action on Elder Abuse, 1995). It can take many forms: physical, sexual, psychological, financial, and discriminatory abuse, and neglect and acts of omission."

    The following is based on a list developed by the Multi-Agency Adult Protection Policy for Kent and Medway.

    Physical abuse: types

    • Hitting, slapping, scratching

    • Pushing or rough handling

    • Assault and battery

    • Restraining without justifiable reason

    • Misuse of medication

    • Inappropriate sanctions including deprivation of food, clothing, warmth and health care needs

    Physical abuse: indicators

    • A history of unexplained falls or minor injuries especially at different stages of healing

    • Unexplained bruising in well-protected areas of body, e.g. on the inside of thighs or upper arms etc.

    • Unexplained bruising or injuries of any sort

    • Burn marks of unusual type, e.g. burns caused by cigarettes and rope burns etc.

    • A history of frequent changes of general practitioners or reluctance in the family, carer or friend towards a general practitioner consultation

    • Accumulation of medicine which has been prescribed for a client but not administered

    • Malnutrition, ulcers, bed sores and being left in wet clothing

    Sexual abuse: types

    • Sexual activity which an adult client cannot or has not consented to or has been pressured into

    • Sexual activity which takes place when the adult client is unaware of the consequences or the risks involved

    • Rape or attempted rape

    • Sexual assault and harassment

    • Non contact abuse e.g. voyeurism, pornography

    Sexual abuse: indicators

    • Unexplained changes in the demeanour and behaviour of the vulnerable adult

    • Tendency to withdraw and spend time in isolation

    • Expression of explicit sexual behaviour and/or language by the vulnerable adult which is out of character

    • Irregular and disturbed sleep pattern

    • Bruising or bleeding in the rectal or genital areas

    • Torn or stained underclothing especially with blood or semen

    • Sexually transmitted disease or pregnancy where the individual cannot give consent to sexual acts

    Psychological abuse: types

    • Emotional abuse

    • Verbal abuse

    • Humiliation and ridicule

    • Threats of punishment, abandonment, intimidation or exclusion from services

    • Isolation or withdrawal from services or supportive networks

    • Deliberate denial of religious or cultural needs

    • Failure to provide access to appropriate social skills and educational development training

    Psychological abuse: indicators

    • Inability of the vulnerable person to sleep or tendency to spend long periods in bed

    • Loss of appetite or overeating at inappropriate times

    • Anxiety, confusion or general resignation

    • Tendency towards social withdrawal and isolation

    • Fearfulness and signs of loss of self-esteem

    • Uncharacteristic manipulative, uncooperative and aggressive behaviour

    Financial abuse: types

    • Misuse or theft of money

    • Fraud and extortion of material assets

    • Misuse or misappropriation of property, possessions or benefits

    • Exploitation or pressure in connection with wills, property or inheritance

    Financial abuse: indicators

    • Unexplained inability to pay for household shopping or bills etc.

    • Withdrawal of large sums of money which cannot be explained

    • Missing personal possessions

    • Disparity between the person's living conditions and their financial resources

    • Unusual and extraordinary interest and involvement in the vulnerable adult's assets

    Neglect and acts of omission: types

    • Ignoring medical or physical care needs

    • Failure to give prescribed medication

    • Failure to provide access to appropriate health, social care or educational services

    • Neglect of accommodation, heating, lighting etc.

    • Failure to access care or equipment for functional independence

    • Failure to give privacy and dignity

    • Professional neglect

    Neglect and acts of omission: indicators

    • Inadequate heating, lighting, food or fluids

    • Failure by carer to give prescribed medication or obtain appropriate medical care

    • Carer's reluctant to accept contact from health or social care professionals

    • Refusal to arrange access for visitors

    • Poor physical condition in the vulnerable person e.g. ulcers, bed sores

    • Apparently unexplained weight loss

    • Unkempt clothing and appearance

    • Inappropriate or inadequate clothing, or nightclothes worn during the day

    • Sensory deprivation - lack of access to glasses, hearing aids etc.

    • Absence of appropriate privacy and dignity

    • Absence of method of calling for assistance

    Discriminatory abuse: types

    • Discrimination demonstrated on any grounds including sex, race, colour, language, culture, religion, politics or sexual orientation

    • Discrimination that is based on a person's disability or age

    • Harassment and slurs which are degrading

    • Hate crime

    Discriminatory abuse: indicators

    • Tendency to withdrawal and isolation

    • Fearfulness and anxiety

    • Being refused access to services or being excluded inappropriately

    • Loss of self-esteem

    • Resistance or refusal to access services that are required to meet need

    • Expressions of anger or frustration

    There are many members of society who are mandated reporters, and maybe you feel more comfortable talking to them.  They include; school staff, lawyers, clergy, doctors and medical staff, social workers, and of course the police.  Please speak with someone and get this reported, it is the right thing to do. 

    And remember, you can remain anonymous

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