RE: SOCW6111: Discussion 2 – Elder Abuse Response

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Respond to at least two colleagues by suggesting alternative strategies.(Please make sure to give detailed response to strategy suggestion and ask question for student to further conversation and have 2 peer reviewed references)

Response to Hilda

The article Understanding Elder Abuse in Family Practice reinforces the awareness of elder abuse and neglect. The article defines elder abuse, and why it is important to be aware of it. It also identifies signs, symptoms, and options if abuse is suspected.

Assessing potential abuse and neglect is importance because it can decrease elderly morbidity. According to Yaffe & Tazkarji (2012) “Elder abuse carries not only considerable morbidity, but also a surprisingly high rate of mortality not directly associated with specific acts of abuse” (p.1337). The identification and preventing of elderly abuse and neglect can assist elderly client’s to live a healthy life.

At the micro level the social worker can assist the client using a strength theory intervention. The elderly client’s strengths with the assistance of the social worker are identified. After the strengths are identified the social worker helps the elderly client develop the identified strengths resulting in the elimination or reporting of the abuse.

Elderly people may also have family members as care takers. The family members need to be educated on how to identify neglect and abuse and what needs to be done if abuse is suspected. The family member may be the abuser. At this mezzo level the social worker can use a family system approach to counsel the whole family. The family culture and beliefs need to be considered during counseling. According to Florsheim, M. J., & Herr (1990) “ Many people feel hesitant to air family problems, and many attach a stigma to a referral to a psychotherapist. Counseling services to elders need to be presented in acceptable terms, such as “family meetings,” rather than “therapy sessions” (p.40). Counseling the family, combined with the elderly family member’s individual counseling using a strength approach will help to address any abuse.

At the macro level elderly abuse can be addressed by advocacy. The social worker can advocate for policies that directly affect prevention of elder abuse. They can also grant write to provide funding for the prevention of elder abuse. Finally, they can support and plan activities to bring awareness on World Elder Abuse Awareness Day.

References

Florsheim, M. J., & Herr, J. J. (1990). Family counseling with elders. Generations, 14(1), 40.

Yaffe, M. J., & Tazkarji, B. (2012). Understanding elder abuse in family practice. Canadian Family Physician, 58(12), 1336-1340.

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