Psychological Abuse Of The Elderly For Family Members And Carers

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:

Psychological or emotional abuse occurs when a carer causes emotional pain or stress for an elder. A carer may be a family member or a person who is responsible for taking caring of him. The carer may insult, threaten, humiliate, or harass him through words or actions. He may also ignore the elder or isolate him from family members, friends, or daily activities. His rights may be ignored, limited, or taken from him even if he can think and act for himself. Psychological abuse can happen in the elder's home, the carer's home, or a facility, such as a nursing home.

CARE AGREEMENT:

The elder victim has the right to help plan his own care. To help with this plan, he must learn about his condition or situation. He can then discuss options with his caregivers. Working with them will help to decide what actions will be taken, and what care and treatment will be given. The victim always has the right to refuse actions or treatment.

RISKS:

If left untreated, the elder may develop serious health and emotional problems. He may also become depressed.

WHILE YOU ARE HERE:

Informed consent:

A consent form is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that the elder may need. Informed consent means he understands what will be done and can make decisions about what he wants. He gives his permission when he signs the consent form. He can have someone sign this form for him if he is not able to sign it. He has the right to understand his medical care in words he knows. Before he signs the consent form, he should understand the risks and benefits of what will be done. Make sure all his questions are answered.

Oxygen:

The elder may need extra oxygen if his blood oxygen level is lower than it should be. He may get oxygen through a mask placed over his nose and mouth or through small tubes placed in his nostrils. Ask his caregiver before you take off his mask or oxygen tubing.

Vital signs:

Caregivers will check the elder's blood pressure, heart rate, breathing rate, and temperature. They will also ask about his pain. These vital signs give caregivers information about his current health.

Nutrition:

A special diet may be considered depending on the elder's condition. A dietitian may talk to you about the elder's eating habits and help him create a healthy meal plan.

  • If he has trouble chewing, he may need thickened liquids to drink or soft foods to eat. Some examples are applesauce, bananas, and cooked cereal.

  • He may need to be fed by an IV or a nasogastric (NG) tube if he cannot eat. An IV is a tube placed in his vein for giving medicine or liquids. An NG tube is put in through the nose and goes down into his stomach.

Medicines:

  • Antianxiety medicine: This medicine may be given to help the elder feel less nervous and more relaxed.

  • Sedative: This medicine may be given to help the elder stay calm and relaxed.

Tests:

  • Blood and urine tests: Blood and urine tests may be done to check for health problems, such as malnutrition or infection.

  • Neurologic signs: Neurologic signs are also called neuro signs. Caregivers check the victim's eyes, memory, and how easily he wakes up. Hand grasp and balance may also be tested. This test shows caregivers how the brain is working after an injury or illness. He may need to have his neuro signs checked often.

Counseling:

Psychological abuse may cause the elder to feel scared, depressed, or anxious. A caregiver may suggest that the elder see a counselor to talk about how he is feeling.

© 2014 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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