Elder abuse is real: How are we mitigating the risks?

Medical conditions are inevitable once the human body begins to age. They arrive with their complexities which can affect our elders physically and emotionally. However, we can support our loved ones with the arising conditions by ensuring they are taken care of with dignity and love. At English Nursing Care, eldercare is redefined with compassion and reliability towards caregiving where Nurses are trained to support clients with comfort and security.

The Problem  

A study conducted by the World Health Organisation, taking evidence from 52 studies in 28 diverse countries, indicates that 15.7% individuals i.e.  one in six individuals, aged 60 years and above, have been subject to some form for physical, psychological, financial or sexual abuse over the past year. This is inclusive of neglect by their own family members.

Sri Lanka at high risk

According to the Institute of Policy Studies (IPS) of Sri Lanka, the global economy expects a rise in aging population – from 814 million people in 2013 to more than 2 billion in 2050 – with Sri Lanka having one of the fastest aging demographics (1 in 4 persons will be over 65 years by 2041). This makes elder abuse a rising risk on senior citizens in Sri Lanka.

Research from the North Colombo Teaching Hospital records 38.5% out-patients at risk of abuse. Survey taken by elders highlight 45% reporting verbal abuse and neglect. Whilst 5.6% report physical abuse. However, a substantial number of elders refrain from reporting such misconduct due to fear, shame or mental illnesses.

Why elder abuse?

In most cases, it is cultural for children in Asia to continue living with their parents. The increasing pace of life simultaneously increases stress which caregivers tend to release on elders. This is vile and unacceptable. Enrolling parents to elder’s homes or employing staff to take care of them is the most sought solution. However, WHO recognises that homes and staff perpetrated 64.2% of the abuse. Insufficient care, depriving them of dignity, incorrect medication are common.

Exemplar Evidence

Recent events of the sorrowful and mysterious demise of 78 – year – old, Miss Ceylon 1962 – Jennifer Ingleton, is exemplar of such misconduct. Jennifer, who fell ill with age and was under the care of unknown forces; as her relatives were abroad. According to Jennifer’s half -brother, these forces prevented friends and family to communicate with her and were left unaware regarding her health and well-being. A close friend reported, upon one of her visits to see Jennifer in her ill-state, these individuals would suspiciously evade her from asking too many questions regarding her medical procedures or requesting a Doctor to check-up on her progress. Therefore, recognition and reconciliation by choosing the right care practises and institutions for your elders is key.

How is English Nursing Care different?

Old age requires engaging and comprehensive care. English Nursing Care understands the significance of this responsibility. Thus, ‘Care plans’ are created where caregivers are trained to deliver personalised support, by Nurses bringing over 30 years of experience from the UK, to take care of your loved one in the comfort of their home. Thorough knowledge on medical history, current medication dosage and emergencies is pivotal. Staff update family on the progress of the client every week or as requested. Nurses at English Nursing care are trained to inculcate the latest methodologies in their practise with focus on delivering quality care with empathy. A review process is held every month to warrant the service given to your loved ones.

With neglect and abuse arrives the unfortunate consequences of dejection, anxiety and hopelessness. Encompassing a jovial and optimistic care system for elders at this phase is vital to live a healthy life. Care staff play a crucial role in fostering so. English Nursing Care is an advocate of celebrating life and takes pride in the holistic service they offer with guaranteed peace of mind for the elderly client as well as family often living far away. For further information on English Nursing Care, visit their website www.englishnursing.com or call +94 11 4500117.

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