Lecture 9 - Should Older People be Protected from Bad Choices

Lecture 9 - Should Older People be Protected from Bad Choices

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Should Older People be Protected from Bad Choices Lecture 9
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Uncle Bert 79 year old – living alone – hires younger housekeeper with suspicious brother Invests in brother’s business, stops taking medicine, walks through dangerous neighborhood by himself, spends all his money at the track, sleeps with the housekeeper, family notices bruises and fear of talking
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Elder Abuse & Neglect Older people have right to live in ways that others judge to be risky or ill-advised At what point does such behavior become categorized as “self-neglect” and justify intervention? What happens when others may be involved in physical, psychological, and/or financial abuse? When harm is threatened, how do we assess a person’s mental capacity for decision- making?
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Types of Elder Abuse
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Statistics Difficult to determine level of elderly abuse One study – 1.6% of people over 65 Perpetrators – 50% adult children, 25% spouses Type – 2/3rds physical, 1/3rd verbal
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Risk Factors - Abusers Psychopathology – alcohol and drug abuse History of violence in family often have role reversal Family member dependent on others for financial support Burden of caregiving Social isolation
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Victim Behavioral Characteristics Being aggressive, critical, complaining, combative Excessively dependent on caregiver
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