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Elder Abuse Neglect and Prevention - Elderly Pictures

Updated on October 12, 2010

What Aging Should Be Like

Elder Abuse

American citizens are healthier and living longer today then any period since biblical times. However, Americans must protect our elderly and change our attitudes towards them through awareness that elder abuse exists. Moreover, our visual media only adds to the deception that the problem is not in the home and our cultural references concerning the elderly are just considered comical. Moreover, we must learn to value our elderly and cherish the contributions that they have made during their youth. Therefore, all Americans must be made aware of the existence of “Elder Abuse” and stop making our elders “The Castaways of America”.

Table 4-27 Relationship Of Alleged Perpetrators Of Elder Abuse 1998

Elders Abused By Their Own Children

Unfortunately, according to the above pie chart, most abusers of the elderly are their adult children (which accounts for 30.8% of the abuse) and their spouses (which accounts for 30.3% of the abuse). Furthermore,

Every year an estimated 2.1 million older Americans are victims of physical, psychological, or other forms of abuse and neglect. Those statistics may not tell the whole story. For every case of elder abuse and neglect that is reported to authorities, experts estimate that there may be as many as five cases that have not been reported. Recent research suggests that elders who have been abused tend to die earlier than those who are not abused, even in the absence of chronic conditions or life threatening disease. (American Psychological Association, 2009)

Therefore, the only way to make Americans aware of elder abuse is to shed light on the signs of abuse by visually depicting the faces and living conditions of the abused. Like my grandmother always said “A picture is worth a thousand words”. Moreover,

There is no one explanation for elder abuse and neglect. Elder abuse is a complex problem that can emerge from several different causes, and that often has roots in multiple factors. These factors include family situations, caregiver issues, and cultural issues. (American Psychological Association, 2009)

Signs Of Elder Abuse

However, the signs of abuse are not easy to detect. “Elder abuse is the infliction of physical, emotional, or psychological harm on an older adult. Elder abuse also can take the form of financial exploitation or intentional or unintentional neglect of an older adult by the caregiver.” (American Psychological Association, 2009) Furthermore,

Like other forms of abuse, elder abuse is a complex problem, and it is easy for people to have misconceptions about it. Many people who hear "elder abuse and neglect" think about older people living in nursing homes or about elderly relatives who live all alone and never have visitors. But elder abuse is not just a problem of older people living on the margins of our everyday life. It is right in our midst: (American Psychological Association, 2009)

Therefore, we as Americans must change the way we look at our elderly population and value the contributions that they have made. “Lack of respect for the elderly may contribute to violence against older people. When older people are regarded as disposable, society fails to recognize the importance of assuring dignified, supportive, and nonabusive life circumstances for every older person.” (American Psychological Association, 2009)

Elderly - Visual Representation In American Culture

Moreover, we must change the way that our culture visually represents the elderly in the media. A cartoon or illustration tells a lot about countries cultural attitudes towards a variety of social concerns. Therefore, take a look at the above illustrations and you will clearly see how we as Americans view our elderly. We view them as cranky, complainers, sickly, and absentminded. Furthermore, we must rid our culture of all of the negative publicity that is associated with getting older.

Education is the cornerstone of preventing elder abuse. Media coverage of abuse in nursing homes has made the public knowledgeable about-and outraged against-abusive treatment in those settings. Because most abuse occurs in the home by family members or caregivers, there needs to be a concerted effort to educate the public about the special needs and problems of the elderly and about the risk factors for abuse. (American Psychological Association, 2009)

Therefore, America is in desperate need of an elderly cultural revolution.

To Stop Elder Abuse We Must Change our Attitudes Towards The Elderly

In Conclusion, Americans must protect our elderly and change our attitudes towards them through awareness that elder abuse exists, positive visual media exposure, and positive cultural references. Moreover, we must learn to value our elderly and cherish the contributions that they have made during their youth. Therefore, all Americans must be made aware of the existence of “Elder Abuse” and stop making our elders “The Castaways of America”.

Elder Abuse

What To Do If You Suspect Elder Abuse

If you suspect elder abuse, neglect, or exploitation, please call the national Eldercare Locator, a public service of the U.S. Administration on Aging at (1-800-677-1116).  In case of emergency, call your local police station or 911.

More Information On Elder Abuse

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Article(C)2009 - 2010 cluense, all rights reserved. Cluense creates articles and posts online. She creates articles on, accounting, entrepreneur, political issues, small business, society, relationships, taxes, work from home businesses, and Tutorials. She also has a strong passion for writing.




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    • cluense profile imageAUTHOR

      Katie Luense 

      11 years ago from Buffalo, NY

      Hello James A. Watkins,

      Thank You for reading my article and taking the time to leave a comment. I really enjoyed writing this article. The plight of the elderly is very near and dear to my heart.

    • James A Watkins profile image

      James A Watkins 

      11 years ago from Chicago

      Amen! Thank you for this insightful article. I learned a lot of new information and things I knew were confirmed.

    • profile image


      11 years ago

      Mother has been isolated now for 365 days. Today is the one year anniversary. Read our story.


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