Social workers play a significant role in ensuring that people and families are supported when they are going through difficult times. Additionally, according to McInnis-Dittrich (2014), they ensure that vulnerable people, who in this case are children and elderly, are safeguarded from harm. The key role of social workers is to not only provide support but also help those under their care to improve their outcomes. Quinn & Tomita (1997) state that social workers dealing with the elderly have to adjust to and ensure that they cope with the problems that such people experience. In specific, Bennett & Kingston (2013) opine that they ensure that the needs of the elderly clients are met in each and every single day of their lives. Some of the help that they offer include financial aid, medical care, and other interventions meant to address mental disorders and social problems (McInnis-Dittrich, 2014). The elderly are susceptible to abuse from their caregivers. Such abuse can be physical, verbal, emotional and financial (Quinn & Tomita, 1997). As such, various interventions should be taken to ensure that such an abuse is stopped and that the safety and wellbeing of the elderly populations is ensured. This paper provides a reflection of the interview conducted with a social worker on the intervention used to prevent abuse among the older adults.
The interview conducted with the social worker was on the best intervention which can be deployed to ensure that older adults are protected from abuse by their caregivers. The social worker stated categorically that the older adults are vulnerable people and are susceptible to various forms of abuse including physical, emotional, and financial abuse. Such abuse results in the patients being uncomfortable and insecure with those who they rely on a daily basis. In worse case scenarios, abuse of the elderly has resulted in the increase in mortality rates. As such, the social worker admitted that the menace of elderly abuse is so profound and thus measures need to be taken to ensure that such an abuse is stopped and that the elderly are secure, safe, and healthy. Some of the causes of the abuse that the interviewee stated are lack of education on the part of the caregivers on how they are supposed to deal with such vulnerable people. The other case stated by the social worker is the failure of the elderly to report such cases as they are afraid of reprisals from the caregivers. Additionally, failure to implement measures to punish those responsible for the abuse was stated as the most likely causes of abuse among the older adults. As such, the problem of abuse and neglect among the elderly was stressed as very critical.
From the interview, it was established that various barriers exist in addressing elderly abuse which include the variations in the definitions of elderly abuse as well as the lack of reliable data on both the frequency and causes of abuse. Additionally, there is often inadequate knowledge among social workers and other personnel coupled with the lack of institutional protocols in place which would facilitate appropriate responses to cases of abuse or suspected abuse. As such, the social worker stated that it is imperative for the use of reliable information as well as protocols which can aid in the prevention as well as the management of elder abuse so that the interventions can be safe and effective. One of the proposed interventions that the social worker stated was educational. In such an intervention, she stated that a need arises for the designing of programs which would educate professional on the ways in which they can take care of the older adults without abusing them. Additionally, the interviewee proposed that curriculum planners should ensure that they design programs for the caregivers which would ensure that they are well equipped to handle the elderly without any abuse.
The social worker provided various positive effects of the use of educational interventions in the prevention of abuse among older adults. However, it is critical to note that the social worker admitted that there are no efforts have been put to educate professional as well as paraprofessionals on aspects of elder abuse and neglect. Despite their absence, the interviewee stated that educational interventions have been critical in increasing the awareness of the patients as well as the caregivers and offering them knowledge on elder abuse as well as the importance of elder abuse reporting. Out of the various educational interventions which can be used, the social worker stated that the most effective was the ace-to-face didactic sessions as opposed to the dissemination of printed information. Additionally, the use of videos combined with lectures has been seen to be effective in ensuring that various stakeholders are educated on the importance reporting cases of abuse. However, the interviewee admitted that recognition and response of older abuse is increasingly difficult as well as potentially disturbing to address especially in cases were the opportunities for discussion and feedback are provided. Nevertheless, the supervised feedback and practice result in the improvement of attitudes, knowledge, and practice. As such, such educational interventions were stated to be critical in increasing awareness towards abuse and preventing the causes of such an abuse.
The interviewer was categorical that educational interventions are much more suitable and effective because they equip the caregivers and older adults with information which will help them stop the abuse. In specific, the intervention will increase the awareness of the elderly on the importance of reporting causes of abuse and determining when there is abuse. Additionally, it is critical to the caregivers who are taught on how they can ensure the safety and security of those under their care and hence ensure that they avoid any abusive actions. Although other interventions are critical, educational interventions are more effective as they touch on the core of the problem and address the problem from its root causes. As such, the social worker stated that having such interventions will be important not just for the older adults who will not be abused but also for their families and the society at large.
In conclusion, social workers offer support to families and individuals n aspects of financial aid, medical care, and even in other social problems. One of the aspects that they deal with is the provision of care services to older adults who are vulnerable to abuse. After interviewing a social worker, it was established that educational interventions are the most effective as they ensure that older adults and caregivers are provided with knowledge on the importance of reporting cases of abuse. Such interventions have the effect of raising awareness on abuse and equipping caregivers with skills and competencies which would make them offer quality services and ensure the safety and wellbeing of older adults. The interview conducted offered critical insights on the effectiveness of face-to-face discussion as opposed to issuing printed information to the caregivers.
Bennett, G., & Kingston, P. W. (2013). Elder abuse: Concepts, theories and interventions. Springer.
McInnis-Dittrich, K. (2014). Social work with older adults. Pearson Higher Ed.Quinn, M. J., & Tomita, S. K. (1997). Elder abuse and neglect: Causes, diagnosis, and interventional strategies (Vol. 8). Springer Publishing Company.
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