Abuse is any form of mistreatment by any other person or even persons that will violate an individual’s basic human and civil rights. The abuse can vary, from treating someone with disrespect in a way that significantly affects the person’s quality of life, to causing actual physical or mental suffering, either over a short term or a long term of time, clearly the longer it goes on the worse the individual will feel or become.
Physical abuse is abuse involving contact intended to cause feelings of intimidation, injury, or other physical suffering or bodily harm. Striking, punching, pushing, pulling, slapping, biting, whipping, striking with an object, kicking, tripping, kneeing, strangling, rape, placing in stress positions (tied or otherwise forced) and withholding food or medication. Injuries (bruises, lacerations, cuts, burns, bite marks, fractures, etc.), drug/alcohol misuse, depression, isolation, self-harming, suicidal, nightmares/flashbacks, low self-esteem, low confidence, fear, panic attacks, and mistrust. Domestic abuse is the abuse of an individual within an intimate or family relationship. It is the repeated, random and habitual use of intimidation to control a person. This abuse can be physical, emotional, psychological, financial or sexual. This can include hitting, kicking, biting, shoving, restraining, slapping, throwing objects, threats, controlling or domineering behaviour, intimidation and stalking. Physical injuries, depression, anxiety, nightmares/flashbacks, fear, panic attacks, anger confusion, low self-esteem, lack of confidence, mistrust, suicidal, shame and difficulty to establish trust in new relationships.
Discriminatory abuse involves picking on or treating someone unfairly because something about them is different, for example it may be: age, clothing or appearance, ethnicity, nationality or culture including traits like language, gender, health (such as AIDS) or disability (i.e. mental disorders), lifestyle or occupation, race or skin color, religion or political affiliation, sexuality and sexual orientation, social class, or weight and height. Discriminatory abuse may include: Racist comments, sexist comments, verbal abuse or harassment on the basis of a disability, comments or harassment on the basis of sexual preference, age discrimination, race discrimination and discrimination of a person’s beliefs or religion. Sexual abuse is any sort of non-consensual sexual contact. Forcing someone into sexual activity without his or her consent, Sexualized language or conversation, inappropriate touching, kissing, fondling, exposure, Inflicting pornography on someone, and rape. Physical injuries, isolation, depression, self-harm, sexual infections, nightmares, mistrust, anxiety, low self-esteem, avoidance of sexual intimacy and feeling suicidal.
Financial abuse is a form of mistreatment in which an abuser forcibly controls a victim’s economic means. It can involve stealing money, not allowing a victim to take part in any financial decisions, or preventing a victim from having a job. Financial abuse includes: taking money or property, forging a person’s signature, getting someone to sign a deed, will, or power of attorney through deception, coercion, or undue influence, using a person’s property or possessions without permission, confidence crimes are the use of deception to gain victims’ confidence, scams are fraudulent or deceptive acts, fraud is the use of deception, trickery, false presence, or dishonest acts or statements for financial gain, telemarketing scams and using a person’s credit cards without authorization. Stress, depression, unpaid bills, eviction notices, or notices to discontinue utilities, and withdrawals from bank accounts or transfers
Bullying is when someone keeps doing or saying things to have power over another person. This can include many different types of abuse. Physical assault, ridiculing, cyber bullying, name calling- psychological abuse, threatening, intimidating. Fear, reduced socialization, isolation, depression, self-harming, suicidal and avoidance of certain situations.
Psychological abuse also referred to as emotional abuse or mental abuse includes a range of non-physical controlling behaviors that cause emotional damage and undermine a person’s sense of well-being. Telling someone they are worthless, telling them no one else wants them, forcing someone to do things at an exact time or in an exact way, undermining a person’s actions, thought and beliefs, making someone believe they are mad, telling someone that the domestic violence and abuse is their fault, not allowing someone to have visitors, controlling who a person is friends with, not allowing them to go out, and locking someone in a room or house.
Self-harm is defined as the intentional, direct injuring of body tissue most often done without suicidal intentions. It can take a variety of forms, and be undertaken for a variety of reasons. It is most visible in young adults and adolescents, but it may affect people of any age. Self-inflicted cuts on the forearms/wrists, bums, bruising. Unexplainable physical damage, isolation, depression, low self-esteem, lack of confidence, withdrawal from socializing, alcohol/drug abuse, suicidal and also some forms of self-harm have been related to eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia.
Neglect is a passive form of abuse in which the perpetrator is responsible to provide care for a person who is unable to care for oneself, but fails to provide adequate care to meet a person’s needs, thereby resulting in a person’s demise. Neglect can include: ignoring medical or physical care needs, failure to provide access to appropriate health, social care or educational services, the withholding of the necessities of life, such as medication, adequate nutrition and heating. Malnutrition, rid or continuous weight loss, not having access to necessary physical aides, inadequate or inappropriate clothing, untreated medical problems, dirty clothing/bedding, Lack of personal care.
Institutional abuse can typically occur in a care home, nursing home, acute hospital or in-patient setting and can be any of the following: discriminatory abuse, financial abuse, neglect, physical abuse, psychological and emotional abuse and sexual abuse. Unsatisfactory living conditions, ignoring medical or physical care needs poor care standards, dirty clothes, soiled bedding, and physical injuries. Decline in social activity, withdrawn, poor appearance, mood swings, depression, lowered self-esteem, low confidence, inadequate staffing and an insufficient knowledge base within the service and rigid routines.
There are several factors which may lead to abusive sit suitors. There are certain groups of people who are most at risk and these people appear to be vulnerable adults. People may have low self-esteem and may accept bad things that happen to them. Their illness, condition or age can be factors. Adults become dependent on their abusers after a long period of time. Physical signs is an indicator of abuse. People who are bruised, may have broken bones, poor hygiene, personal hygiene, weight fluctuation, they also may turn to alcohol and become dependent on it and then they may get aggressive, burn marks on the body, unexplained injuries, gynecological bone problems, signs of restraint due to being abused, physical signs are the easiest signs to notice as they are usually able to see, if an individual has any of these signs it’s important to talk and ask them to understand what has been going on, especially elderly people as they are more at risk as their bones are weaker and adults and elderly people bruise much more easier than a younger person would but people may also have emotional changes and they may be too scared to tell another person as they may be depressed, have distraught feelings, they may feel isolated and have a very low self-esteem, unpredictable feelings, they may be very fearful and anxious.
Adults who may not have the social awareness that abuse has taken place as they may have an illness and people may take advantage if they live in their own homes for example and only receive day care then the public are able to take full advantage of their house and sleep there etc, as the vulnerable person may not understand and think that it is a career.. They would find excuses not to do anything so they wouldn’t have to socially interact. They would face financial constraints, they would feel trapped like there is no way out of the abuse and they wouldn’t have freedom. They would also not develop new relationships or bonds with other individuals as they may feel they are not fit enough to or strong enough.
Legislations and regulations are essential to have and follow in the working environment, it ensures safe practice for the workers and safety, protection and stability to people that are in their care. The Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006 aims to prevent unsuitable people from working (either paid or unpaid) with children or vulnerable adult. Employers who work with these people have to be registered according to the act and The Independent Safeguarding Authority decides if people should be barred from working with any vulnerable person. Everyone gets checked before they are able to work with all vulnerable people for instance, a DBS check will be carried out to see if the person has carried out any criminal offences.
The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 supports the rehabilitation into employment of reformed offenders who have stayed on the right side of the law. All employers require full disclosure of pervious offences. A CRB check is done under a Part V of the Police Act 1997, this protects vulnerable people from harm because employers will then know of any criminal convictions that have been done by particular people.
The Sexual Offences Act 1976 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It made provision in relation to rape and related offences. This Act put the Sex Offenders Register in action for identification and tracking purposes. This Act protects vulnerable people from danger, by tracking sex offenders.
Care Standards Act 2000, This Act set the national minimum standards to protect the vulnerable, the standards include accommodation, services and good working practice. This Act established the Protection of Vulnerable Adults (POVA) scheme, this scheme helps protect vulnerable adults from abuse. People who are working with vulnerable adults have to go through POVA training, I have done so myself through volunteering. The training makes you more aware of different types of abuse, people that are abused and the abuser, and how this is identified. Care Homes for Older People- National Minimum Standards and Care Homes Regulations 2003 This regulation identifies the levels of care that vulnerable adults need in care homes. There are points in this regulation that all older people in care homes should always receive the standards that are set for example, having a choice of what they would like to eat for dinner.
There are specific working strategies and procedures that are used in health and social care to reduce the risk of abuse. For example, one of the strategies when hiring new staff members, you have to take into the account the adults barred list. This strategy helps to prevent unsuitable people from being hired to work in the care environment. People usually on the adults barred list have usually a criminal record.
Another sort of strategy is also known as the Protection of Vulnerable Adults Scheme (POVA). This acts a workforce ban. It prevents people with criminal record for abuse or neglect from working with vulnerable adults. Any criminal that has been arrested for abuse is listed on this scheme. Additionally, another type of strategy that is used in health and social care to reduce the risk of abuse is Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA). This scheme makes sure that people that are unsuitable to work in the sector are unable to have access of working in it. It is very similar to the previous scheme. However, it focuses more on the fact whether the person is suitable for the type of work they have chosen. In addition, another strategy is known as the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB). This scheme practically checks the person for any criminal records. If for example, the person wants to do volunteer work or work in general at a health sector then the employer can use look up the criminal records through this specific scheme.
Furthermore, there are strategies which are used for Sector guidance when working in the health and social care environment. For example, there is a The Protection of Vulnerable Adults scheme in England and Wales for adult placement schemes. This scheme allows the employers to look at the pre-employment checks, so they can make sure that vulnerable adults are protected from any harm. Additionally, another strategy used in health and social care sector is Domiciliary Care Agencies and Care Homes 2006 (updated publication 2009). It focuses on the fact that workers should collaborate to work together in order to reduce risk of abuse of the vulnerable adults.
In order for a vulnerable individual to feel confident and feel as though their needs are being met, a supportive relationship is essential. A supportive relationship is a relation based on empathy and encouragement and involves the care and support from those around them such as, friends, and family and care workers. Supportive relationships can affect an individual’s health and well-being in a positive way and by having the support of others around them can give the individual confidence and make the individual feel better about themselves. It also means that trust is built between the career and the cared for, and when something goes wrong, the individual feels that they can go and report it someone who is close to them, who can then go on to resolve the situation.
For a new care worker this could prove difficult for them to create any kind of relationship with a client or service user, but they would need to consider both the nature of themselves, and the individual they are supporting’s role. Being a vulnerable adult leads them to being susceptible to various forms of abuse and/or neglect, and because of the very nature of what is happening they may have no idea as to how to respond to the abuse – finding it far easier to just let it continue, than fight it off. The vulnerable individual needs to know there is somebody out there who is willing to support them, as not only does this allow for the individual to feel less alone, but it can also help minimize the risk of abuse to them in the near future, and being involved in care work is all about taking up that role.
Promotion of rights us when all the patients are treated equally by the care providers. This is done by giving the patients the human rights they are entitled to. These human rights include, the right to be listened to and not mistreated, the right to be fed, and the right to be respected. Promotion of rights allows professional care providers to provide the holistic support by giving the patients basic human needs. Giving them the basic human needs shows that you are respecting them and not neglecting them. Promotion of choice is when the patients have the freedom to make a decision regarding their care and treatment that they are entitled to. An example of this is choosing which GP they go to. Promotion of choice allows the professional care providers to provide the holistic support. This is done by looking and considering the patients’ needs and discovering what makes them comfortable when it comes to making decisions about their treatment.