The mental health context portfolio
Examining incidence and prevalence: late adulthood abuse
Late adulthood is considered to begin at 65 according to Eric Erickson psychosocial development stages, at this time it is important that we find meaning to one’s life and satisfaction rather than unpleasant and dissatisfied (Craven & Hirnle, 2009). This is the last stage of our lifespan when we are force to face a number of different issues whether it is physical, psychosocial or cognitive changes (Kozier, Erb, Berman, Burke, 2000). Older people don’t have a choice getting older is simply part of our pathology of human development. This report will explore the incidence and prevalence of mental health needs and issues that are common in late adulthood focusing on 65 years and older. I will discuss the potential impact that elder abuse and neglect has on this specific age group and on their family members. Utilising Neighbourhood Support New Zealand 2009 I will discuss the therapeutic approach and how this mental health programme assists the elderly with their mental health issues.
Common mental health issues in this age group are directed at elder abuse and neglect according to the New Zealand Ministry of Health (2012). There is a service provided by the New Zealand Ministry of Health called Age Concern New Zealand, that work for the elderly people by coordinating and supporting vital services which is offered at a local level such as Elder abuse and Neglect Prevention. Age concern offers the elderly with public awareness and provides national leadership with any concerns the elderly may have. World Health Organisation (2012) defines elder abuse as a singular action or repeated act towards an elderly person causing harm or distress in any form such as physical, psychological and financial abuse. Elder neglect is defined by Age Concern New Zealand (2007) as a form of mistreatment that involves carelessness indifferent or malicious lack of attention or action. According to Age concern New Zealand (2012) Elder abuse and neglect are the most common mental health issues affecting our aging nation here in New Zealand receiving approximately 1500 referrals in one year. This is increasingly alarming as Age Concern New Zealand state that 70% of referrals since 2002 include neglect, physical abuse 20%, financial abuse 50% and psychological abuse at 60%, active and passive neglect 18%. Neglect occurs concurrently with these forms of elder abuse. Age Concern New Zealand (2012) states that in New Zealand psychological abuse 60% and financial abuse 50% are the most common forms of elder abuse (“World Elder Abuse Awareness Day”, 2012 pg). The common offenders for financial abuse in this regard are the elders own adult children or a family relatives (Ministry of health 1997). Fallon (2006) reports older adults that live within a residential care facilities are more likely to be abuse by the people paid to look after them such as nurses and caregivers.
Age Concern New Zealand (2010) is the latest report on elder abuse in New Zealand, reporting 70% of reported abuse as females, 59% psychological abuse followed by material and financial 42%, and physical abuse at 12% these are the most common forms or abuse within New Zealand. Women aged 75 to 85 living with a partner or family member are most commonly neglected within New Zealand according to Age Concern New Zealand (2010). A literature review written by Fallon (2006) estimates prevalence of elder abuse in domestic settings is highly miscalculated as abused elderly choose not to report or take action against their abuser. Age Concern New Zealand supports and encourages effective prevention by empowering older people teaching them to stand up and speak out, to raise awareness with the general public that elder abuse and neglect is an issue today. Though adequate training support and education we can prevent abuse towards...
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