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Anand, Janet; O'Brien, Marita; Begley, Emer; Killick, Campbell; Taylor, Brian (2011)
Publisher: Age Action, Dublin
Languages: English
Types: Book
Subjects: elder abuse
Findings show that the current definitions of elder abuse, which centre on the actions or inactions of a person or persons where there is an expectation of trust, ignore wider societal issues like the withdrawal of respect and recognition. This serves to place older people in vulnerable positions.
Standard typologies of abuse were recognised by participants, although sexual abuse was not commonly mentioned except when prompted. However, what also emerged was a new concept of ‘personhood abuse’. This refers to societal attitudes; how these affect a person’s confidence, autonomy and agency resulting in an inability to say no or to stand up for oneself against abusive
acts, words and pressures possibly from fear of negative repercussions such as withdrawal of contact and/or care. Many ways were identified to support older people and reduce the opportunity for abusive actions to occur. They centred on community-based and peer supports through ‘having someone to talk
to’ and being aware of their rights. Continued involvement in community based activity which keeps people active and participating in society, such as community transport and clubs, supported people’s access to amenities and opportunities for engagement and were identified as ways to
prevent abuse from happening. Enhanced status, resources and support therefore need to be given to these types of community activities to prevent abuse occurring in the first place. These types of supports can enable older people to share their concerns in an everyday setting and to gain informal support and confidence; seeking more formal interventions when necessary.
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