There are 7 categories of elder abuse and all of them lead to depression – News – vvdailypress.com
# 299: Topic 008, Elder Abuse, Part 3:
Happy New Year! I have no doubts that your readers will have a wonderful and happy 2019.
The previous two installments discussed the extremely divided causes of elder abuse. One type of abuse is caused by deliberate intent, whether it is a momentary physical and / or emotional surge of anger or frustration. The second type is caused by a rather complex combination of component causes, each of which is derived from the fact that seniors are weak socially and physically and cannot really muster their voices together to complain. This type of treatment of the elderly is most certainly categorized as abuse; in fact in my mind this is solid first class abuse!
There are some useful definitions of various elder abuse. For example, the National Council on Aging (NCOA) publishes a short and comprehensive article on abuse. Here I quote their booklet:
There are seven categorizable abuses against seniors: 1) physical abuse, 2) sexual abuse, 3) emotional abuse, 4) forcible confinement, 5) passive neglect, 6) willful deprivation, and 7) financial abuse.
Here I’m copying the description of NCOA and I’m a little concerned about their so-called pseudo-scientific approach to defining abuse. These definitions of subdivision of abuse might do some good to professionals who ply the waters of so-called abuse and its prevention, but it leaves me cold because it lacks cause and effects.
In this third installment dealing with elder abuse, the author wishes to develop the subject in a much broader interpretation of how the suffering of the elderly affects their mental health and even their physical health. What I am saying is that elder abuse is so much more prevalent in this country and is definitely affecting their health, both physically and mentally, on the downside.
Now my refusal. I am not at all against these subcategories of elder abuse. But I also strongly believe that such categorization does not give a very simplified and powerful picture of why abuse occurs and what results from it.
My theory is very simple. All of the sub-categories of abuse, such as NCOA defines a person’s ability, whether physical or mental or a combination of the two, are overwhelmed by what the environment forces you to deal with. The most significant abuse occurs when your physical strength, including an altered balance, is overwhelmed by the physical strength you need. One can hardly walk on the ice-covered street without the intense fear of falling. The television broadcast on the current weather forecast by the pretty young lady talking a mile a minute does not occur to you. Or maybe a radio commercial that you want to contact the seller disappears before you remember the phone number. Or, you arrive at a restaurant with a group of friends and you don’t quite understand what they are talking about over the loud background music etc.
The end result is simple. You become mildly depressed as you feel gradually pushed out of the society where you have lived happily all your life. You had a spouse who died a few years ago and you continued to live alone in the same environment. And then you start to notice signs that the balance of power is out of balance.
In all cases of abuse, regardless of the NCOA categorization, the obvious result is depression. Whether this happens gradually or suddenly, it does not matter for the discussion. This happens period. It is not so but clearly a question of when.
We can prosecute the perpetrator of physical violence with increased surveillance if possible. If the abuser is a family member, which is often the case, it can be very difficult. Although he / she may be in pain and be depressed, he / she may not want to speak openly about who was the abuser. But one thing is very clear: the victim is either depressed now or depressed soon.
Depression is a universal source of many illnesses and conditions. Without addressing senior depression first, our nation would face a serious Medicare funding problem in the very near future.
The current system of American medicine for all psychiatric illnesses is passive at best. A patient or his or her relative should report the illness to a PCP (Primary Care Physician), who then refers the patient to an appropriate physician, be it a psychiatrist, psychologist or therapist. The problem is that the patient is only referred to such a specialist when the symptom is clearly detectable. Unfortunately, the senior’s depression may not be so easily detectable, and it can simply be put aside with an elementary cure, which has little to do with the illness.
I point out the structural flaw in the medical system in this country. For some reason, we don’t seem to pay attention to preventable medical care. Instead, we seem to want to wait until the disease or condition becomes a clearly detectable and easily categorizable problem, to which a standardized treatment process format could be applied.
I have a dream. (Please don’t laugh.) I would love to see a large army of psychiatric trained nurse practitioners interview all (yes, ALL) seniors over 65 and find out how much depression they are going through. The size of such a group of practitioners will be only 1,200 to 1,500 and the cost will be only $ 75 million per year, chicken feces for Medicare’s vast annual loss.
(To be continued.)