An Examination of the risk factors that lead to elder abuse in Trinidad and Tobago
“This chapter will examine literature, which is to be guided by the Sociocultural Climate Theory to lead this research. In addition, it focuses on the forces that influence abuse of the elderly, assessment of risk factors of both the victims and the perpetrators and the manner in which these risks make the elderly members of society vulnerable to abuse. The Literature review will also evaluate various justifications, giving significant considerations to the appropriate measures that can be implemented to prevent abuse.
Cultural influences speaks to the way the family deals with conflict, the acceptance of external involvement when a problem arise, culturally defined roles which would include in large measure the issue of gender and stereotyping, familiarity with government programmes, definition of elder abuse, use of language and ethnic composition to name a few. It also involved the law and how the issue of elder abuse is treated legally.
Describes a transactional process between the victim of abuse and caregiver in the context of the individual lived experiences for both persons (i.e. Individual characteristics, physical health, beliefs and attitudes about ageing), status, equality, relationship type, power, exchange dynamics, living environment ethnic and other cultural factors may be associated to elder abuse. This approach is very similar to the Systems Theory.
EXAMPLE OF VICTiM’S RISK FACTORS
Individual:Advanced age(over 75, women
Physical/Mental Health: Diminishing mental capacity Mental Disorder, Functional and Cognitive impairment, Chronic diseases, Difficulty with activities of daily living,, Increase care needs.
Social/Relational Factors: Social isolation, Dependency, Living with potentially abusive care giver, Absence of close social network, absence of community support.
PERPETRATORS RISK FACTORS
Individual Characteristics: Younger aged than victim, Family member.
Physical and Mental Health: Drug and alcohol use and abuse, Untreated psychiatric problem, Dementia, History of violence and anti social behavior, Poor impulse control.
Social/relational Factors: Personal family stress, Care-giver Stress (Theory), Living with the Victim, Dependency on victim for housing and money, loss of job or personal illness
Economic Factors: Financial stress.
Source: Jones et al (1997) Quinn & Tornita (1997).
Please note that this student was advised to focus on one theory and speak to its strengths and weakness and the gaps that have been discovered in the literature.
VARIABLES TO BE EXAMINED AND OPERATIONALISED
1). Physical abuse
2). Verbal Abuse
3). Sexual Abuse
4). Financial Abuse
5). Neglect by Caregiver
Other standard demographics such as age, gender education, job status area of residence, etc. will also be examined……
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