In October last year the home secretary, Sajid Javid, asked the Law Commission to review hate crime legislation with a view to including age as a protected characteristic.
Police letting down older victims of crime, say inspectors | UK news | The Guardian
This has not been taken forward. This has to stop now. Topics Police. In some cases, elder abuse is simply a continuation of abuse e. Spouses and offspring of perpetrators may turn the tables and vent their rage or withhold nourishment from their historic abusers. Social isolation can increase the likelihood of abuse. While it can be a deliberate strategy for keeping abuse secret, it may also be an accidental result of the stresses of caring for a dependent older family member, leaving little time for the caregiver to socialize.
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Isolation cuts off family members from the support they need to cope with the stresses of caregiving. It also prevents outsiders from intervening and protecting an elderly person in an abusive situation and from offering help to both the victim and abuser. While there is some debate about this matter, the risk of elder abuse may become magnified when the caregiver is responsible for an older person who is ill or impaired. Caregivers often feel trapped in such situations and may resort to force or verbal abuse to manage difficult situations.
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When the caregiver is dependent financially on an impaired older person, there may be financial exploitation or abuse. Psychological problems of caregivers can put them at risk for abusing an older person in their care. A caregiver who is addicted to drugs or alcohol, or has a personality disorder is more likely to become abusive when confronted with the frustrations of caring for an elderly person, rather than reaching out for help American Psychological Association, ; Kurrle et al.
Societal attitudes and cultural factors may play a role in elder abuse that occurs within the family.
Very often, abuse within the family is regarded as a private matter. Different cultural groups have varying ideas as to what abuse is and there are differences in terms of the tolerance of abuse against women in general. Finally, social attitudes that devalue the elderly and view them as dispensable also facilitate disrespect and abuse toward seniors.
Close to ten percent of Canadian women and five percent of Canadian men, 65 years of age and over, live in long term care facilities, including personal care homes, nursing homes, and complex care facilities. Those in institutional care may also experience systemic abuse, which refers to system-wide practices that produce neglect, sub-standard care, overcrowding, and the violation of dignity.
One Ontario study surveyed over 1, nurses and nursing assistants and found that close to a third had witnessed each of the following:. The segment of the population at greatest risk of institutional abuse comprises women 85 years of age and over. In Canada, over a third of these women live in an institutional setting, as women tend to outlive their husbands and may not have the health or support required to live in the community. Thus, a high proportion of residents in institutional facilities are women over 85 and they are at greatest risk due to their numbers in these facilities.
There is disagreement as to whether impairment is a factor. While physically and cognitively impaired individuals would appear to be more vulnerable to abuse, more active seniors may be less compliant with institutional rules, thereby creating the potential for conflict with institutional staff. Those living in institutional settings may be vulnerable to abuse due to isolation from the community and the handling of incidents internally within the facility.
Incidents may therefore remain hidden from scrutiny. As the number of physically and cognitively impaired individuals grows in society with increasing life expectancy, the challenges are greater for staff. The potential for abuse increases as the mismatch grows between the needs of residents and the skills of staff. Apart from insufficient staffing and inadequate staff training, there may be a number of systemic and other factors contributing to abuse:.
Behavioural or environmental indicators of abuse in institutions may include such things as mail censorship, lack of privacy, and the sudden deterioration in the physical or mental health of a resident. The perpetrators of institutional abuse are more likely to be young staff members. Male staff are more often abusive than are females. Abusers have been observed to be aggressive, dominant, less caring, and less tolerant to aggression on the part of residents.
Findings drawn from the Canadian research literature include: Each year, about 10 percent of Canadian seniors are victims of crime. The vast majority of these are property crimes. Up to one percent of Canadian seniors experience violent crimes or physical abuse. About 4 5 percent of seniors report experiencing some form of abuse from the age of 65 on.
How to Avoid Crime: Top Tips for Older People
The overall prevalence of elder abuse in Canada is similar to the levels found in the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia. Seniors are less likely to report being victims of crime or spousal abuse than are non-seniors. When returning to your car, check the front seat, back seat, and floor before entering. Never pick up hitchhikers. If your car should break down, get far enough off the road, turn on your emergency flashers, raise the hood, get back into the car, lock the door, and wait for help.
You should store valuables in a Safe Deposit Box. Never give your money to someone who calls on you, identifying himself as a bank official.
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A bank will never ask you to remove your money. If it is a legitimate investment, the opportunity to contribute your funds will still be there tomorrow-after you have had time to consider it. Use an optical viewer. At night, draw your blinds or draperies. Lock your doors and windows. Three quarters of the burglaries involving older persons involved unlocked doors and windows; and, less than one half of these robberies are reported.
Keep your garage doors locked. Vary your daily routine. A concerned neighbor is often the best protection against crime because suspicious persons and activities are noticed and reported to police promptly.