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Elder Abuse – Book Excerpt
The Perfect Prescription by Reigh Simuzoshya
Elder abuse is a multidimensional global concern that manifests itself in many forms. For example, it can take the form of exploitation and marginalization of elder interests, which usually occur through enactment of social and economic policies deliberately meant to disenfranchise the elderly. It takes away their voices and silences them into obscurity. Financial exploitation is another form of elder abuse. This constitutes the unauthorized expenditure of the elderly person’s funds by the caregiver. Financial exploitation of the elderly often includes misusing their credit cards and personal checks by buying items they did not authorize. It can also take the form of outright stealing of cash and other valuable household items from the elderly by the caregiver or whoever the perpetrator may be. Forging the elderly individual’s signature in order to make unauthorized purchases is yet another type of financial exploitation. Sometimes financial exploiters coerce the elderly into changing their wills to favor them or to hand over rights to their assets to the abuser.
Then there is the healthcare type of abuse of the elderly, which is perpetrated by unethical doctors, nurses, hospital personnel, and other professional care providers. Evidence of healthcare abuse is overcharging or double-billing for elderly healthcare services or getting kickbacks for elderly patient referral to a certain type of provider or prescribing certain types of medications that the elderly person might not even need. Healthcare abuse is also the tendency to deliberately over medicate the elderly patient or under medicate them. It is giving fraudulent types of treatment regimens aside from what the elderly patient needs or is already receiving. It can also take place in insurance fraud, which is a means of obtaining payment from the elderly person’s insurance carrier in a fraudulent manner.
The sad thing is the not many countries have official national statistics about elder abuse. This means that this is a trend that is usually under-reported. As such, the actual figure of abused elders is unknown. One reason for this is the absence of national statistics due to lack of uniform or standardized reporting systems. Statistical estimates of the problem of elder abuse have often been garnered from private investigators over the years. In the United States, between 1 and 3 million elderly people over 65 have been injured, ill-treated or exploited in one way or another. The rate of elder abuse is between 2% and 10% and about 1 in 14 incidents of elder abuse take place at home. Other estimates indicate that about 5 million cases of elder financial extortion and exploitation take place every year. As indicated above, the actual prevalence rate is unknown since about 20% of elder abuse cases go unreported. But estimates indicate that approximately 472, 000 elders were abused in 2000 in the United States alone. The World Health Organization claims that the prevalence of global elder abuse is between 1% and 10%.
Christian values have a different view about ageing. Among true believers, ageing is not contemplated upon with apprehension or trepidation. It is not a negative phenomenon. All generations, including the elderly, are a vital part of the fabric of society, a resource necessary for its effective functioning and well-being. Each period in an individual’s life has something unique to offer humanity.
According to the Bible, old age is a blessing. The Bible speaks of old age as a splendor or beauty or honor: “The glory of young men is their strength, but the beauty of old men is their gray hair,” (Proverbs 20:29). Again it says “You shall rise up before the hoary head, and honor the face of an old man, and you shall fear your God: I am the LORD,” (Leviticus, 19:32).
One of the fundamental principles of Christian ethics on which hangs the foundation of the dignity of every human being is the directive or commandment: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” (Matthew 22:39). The Bible speaks with final authority on how we ought to treat other human beings as it does on most other subjects. Loving my neighbor as I love myself entails the understanding that the other human being, regardless of age difference or any other difference for that matter, has the same intrinsic value that I have. Every human being carries the Imago Dei, the image of God. This is what gives us all inalienable intrinsic value.
For more about this topic and many other related topics purchase a copy of The Perfect Prescription from Amazon.com
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Scientists have been searching for more evidence with regard to pathogenesis and pathophysiology of depression and the resultant neurobiological effects thereof. But the elucidation of the underlying pathophysiology of this condition continues to be elusive.
Some theories claim that depression is linked to a dysfunction of the dopaminergic and GABA-ergic system. Others assert that it is associated with a deficit of norepinephrine and serotonin exacerbated by an alteration in the expression of neuropeptides. Yet another theory claims that the overdrive of the hypothalamic-pituitary adrenal system is another risk factor for depression. Chances are that a combination of all these factors can certainly intensify the onset of depression. Depression can be draining. It can take away your energy, dampen your hopes for the future and your drive. It even cripples the desire to do what is needed to feel better.
Scientists tell us that some of the symptoms of depression include agitation, significant low sex drive, being irritable, having digestive disorders, experiencing headaches, being fatigued, having feelings of guilty and helplessness as well as insomnia. But there are also times when depressed people might want to sleep all the time.
Although the word ‘depression’ does not appear in the Bible except in the New Living Translation, there are many people who manifested depressive symptoms in the Bible such as Elijah, Hannah, King Saul, John the Baptist, Jeremiah, Job and many others. God does not get upset, nor does He punish us just because we experience discouragement and depression. These disorders are often triggered by events beyond our control such as the death of a loved one, divorce or loss of job.
Living in a fallen, sinful world means that we will experience the tragic dimensions of life from time to time until the Lord comes to take us home. The joy of our salvation is in the confident assurance of God’s manward abundant mercies and in the realization that He responds to our hurts as a loving Father. The Bible says in Psalm 34:18 that the LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. It also says “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever,” (John 14:16). Furthermore, knowing that Jesus was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief (Isaiah 53: 3) means that He is not a stranger to our suffering, and because He has already been there and has overcome, we also can overcome through Him. This is our hope and our strength through it all.
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