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Elder abuse, neglect and exploitation
The Old Americans Act of 1965 has a clear section on Prevention of elder abuse, exploitation and neglect. However, it fails to give clear guidelines on how it should be prevented, assessed, intervened, detected and treated (Herbert, 2000). It also lacks on channels to access public education and prevention of theft of the elderly identities and lack of financial knowledge, which leads to financial exploitation.
The Act does not also have a procedure on inspection of the elderly homes or shelters to ensure they are fully protected. It also lacks on the coordinated report on elder abuse neglect and exploitation. Subsequently, there is no disciplinary action to deal with perpetrators (Beveridge, 2005).
The Act does not give any special benefits to family caregivers who take care of older individuals with complex conditions like Alzheimer’s disease and neurological disorders with brain problems (Herbert, 2000). Preference to older people taking care of their grandchildren or those with serious disability is not covered by the Act. Most unfortunate is that the act does not specify the training that caregivers should get in terms of financial literacy, nutrition, health and problem solving to be applied in the course of their work (Beveridge, 2005).
Under supportive services, mental health is not included. Health screening to detect and prevent diseases that are common in the elderly has been provided for, but not mental health. The service that identifies and meets the needs of low-income older people has been inducted to attend matters of employment, transport, legal, housing and health but mental health is not included (Norton, 2007).
The act does not have a provision on how the government through the Agriculture docket should support the agencies that look after the elderly to promote health and prevent disease (Herbert, 2000). The Secretary of Agriculture does not emphasize on the foods with high nutritional value to be given to the elderly. His office does not also give the procedure on the quantity of commodities to be given to agencies, and the means of applying for the same (Beveridge, 2005).
Increased complexity in caring for the elderly
With the advance in technology and people getting more engrossed in their careers, old people are being taken care of by professional caretakers. The outbreak of many and complex diseases affecting the old is making matters worse (Herbert, 2000). Some of these nursing homes do not have enough food and drinks to ensure the elderly are well fed and healthy.
Besides the homes, hospitals are suffering shortage of staff including doctors, and thus the health of the aged is at stake. Even where there are staffs, they lack the expertise and training required to take care of the increased old under their care (Bailey & Kemp, 2004). Given the increase of complex illnesses in the old people for example dementia, most of the patients are being treated for the symptoms rather than conditions that need to be managed effectively and efficiently (Norton, 2007).
There is a challenge in merging the health care with the social one. In the case of the complex illnesses, prevention and early treatment is important, yet it is out of reach. The professionals should be well remunerated and their welfare should be prioritized. While there are all these issues, political leaders must be ready to implement change. Social health should be examined to ensure that elderly homes are not run as children’s day care (Bailey & Kemp, 2004).
Bailey, M., & Kemp, S. (2004). Congress Makes a Law: The Story Behind the Employment Act of 1946. New York, NY: Columbia University Press.
Beveridge, W. H. (2005). Full Employment in a Free Society. New York, NY: Norton Press.
Herbert, S. (2000). The Fiscal Revolution in America. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.
Norton, H. S. (2007). The Employment Act and the Council of Economic Advisers. Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina Press.