Most experts estimate between 1 million and 2 million elderly Americans have experienced abuse or neglect. However, the Senate Special Committee on Aging believes the number of victims may actually be closer to 5 million, which means five additional cases may exist for every one reported. According to the National Center on Elder Abuse [http://www.ncea.aoa.gov], physicians and other healthcare professionals are involved in 21.6 percent of reported cases, while family members are the perpetrators nearly 15 percent of the time and service providers are involved 9.4 percent of the time.
People suffering from dementia, as well as women and those with physical disabilities, are the most likely victims of caregiver abuse and neglect. Depression, lack of a social support system, verbal or physical aggression, substance abuse as well as fear of institutionalization and loss of independence are just a few of the numerous barriers that prevent the reporting of elder abuse.
As technology improves, many families are turning to granny cams as a way to prove their suspicions. According to a report on the WBAL evening news [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4YEuivTYI64&feature=player_embedded] in Baltimore, Jaki Taylor used a granny cam to capture images of an in-home caregiver repeatedly abusing her father, a stroke victim. In New York, 22 nursing home healthcare...
... middle of paper ...
...versy, granny cams just may change the future of how older adults live out their elderly years. The installation of surveillance equipment is primarily an issue of suspicions, and because this strategy is an invasion of privacy and dignity, it should be used as a last resort to confirm those suspicions and gather evidence.
Further Reading and Resources:
To Watch or Not to Watch? Elder Web [http://www.elderweb.com/book/export/html/3001]
Securing the Elderly Body: Dementia, Surveillance, and the Politics of “Aging in Place” [http://www.surveillance-and-society.org/articles5(3)/elderly.pdf]
How at Risk for Abuse are People with Dementia? UC Irvine Center of Excellence on Elder Abuse and Neglect [http://www.centeronelderabuse.org/docs/PwDementia_Factsheet.pdf]
National Committee for the Prevention of Elder Abuse [http://www.preventelderabuse.org/]
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