A History of Elder Maltreatment

A History of Elder Maltreatment

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“Elder maltreatment was first described in 1975 when simultaneous reports of “granny battering” appeared.” (Collins, 1290) When we discuss elder abuse, we aren't just referring to physical beatings, but also sexual, verbal, neglect, finical misuses, and violations of their rights as a human. Of the entire population of the elderly community large majorities of abuse happens in the home, home can be a institutional facility such as a nursing home. “Currently, 5% to 10% of the elderly population reside in institutions.”( Collins. 1292) Claims educate us to understand the definition of a perpetrator within institutions; this includes and does not exclude, staff members, other residents and even visitors. So the question is then presented, what policies are implemented to put forth efforts to protect this elderly community so that they feel safe within their homes and communities? Are we as a nation using organized educational training methods to bring awareness and resources to everyone involved in institutional care facilities?
President Harry Truman in 1950 held the first national conference on aging. At this time “projects for “protective service units” were given to the department of health education and welfare.” (Lindberg, 107) White house conference on aging came into the discussion in 1961, at this time they brought national awareness and congressional efforts to help this overall goal of prevention of elder abuse. In 1974 the social security act allowed adult protective services under title XX, this encourage some states to independently mandatory reporting of abuse within the elderly community. (Lindberg, 108) “Although education may help increase the number of people interest in adult protection work specific training is need for working with adults who have been abused and neglected.” (Connell-Carrick, 192)
Training, and policies have been implemented over a period of 60 years but until 2010 there wasn't a concrete law put into place. The Elder Justice Act or EJA is new to our country it is now part of the affordable care act. As of March 23, 2010 EJA was signed into law by President Obama. “The EJA is the first federal law “to specifically state that it is the right of older adults to be free of abuse neglect and exploitation.”” (Lindberg, 105) These policies and laws now enforce the provided protection for the elderly community in the United States that they rightfully deserve.
The Geriatric Social Work Initiative is a national project that has provided tools in training social workers working in the field on gerontology, supplying they with the training to provide exceptional services to their clientele.

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Gathered from this information, we see there is now programs providing, protection and trainings to deliver excellent care to the geriatric communities. The Elder Justice Act has encouraged and backed up these projects being that it was made a law in 2010. No member of the geriatric community within the United States is to be exposed or endure any form of abuse, and if they do face these challenges the law protects them and the perpetrates will be prosecuted.


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