Physical abuse is when someone physically hurts you, although it doesn’t have to leave marks or bruises to mean it is physical abuse. Example of this abuse are smacking, kicking, pinching, punching and many more. There can be a multiple reasons why someone would physically harm a person an example would be if someone was using drugs or drinking alcohol; these substances could cloud someone’s judgement making them think an action is right. Physical abuse normally starts slowly with a small slap but over time it can escalate further sometimes causing death. There are many different signs and symptoms of physical abuse some signs you can see such as bruises, burns, broken bones, scratches and weight loss. Weight loss might be if the abuser isn’t allowing them food or their medication this can cause serious side effects. It can also cause depression and fear; this could mean a person is too scared to leave the house which means they will also be socially deprived and excluded from society.
Sexual abuse is when someone forces you to carry out a sexual act or have one preformed on yourself. Some examples of sexual abuse are unwanted kissing or touching, rape and being rough or forceful. The abuser will control when and where the abuse will be carried out therefore the victim can be feel scared because they don’t know when it’s going to happen again. Sexual abuse can happen to anyone even in married couple or people who have had sex before. Just because someone doesn’t say no or resist this still counts as abuse. Sexual abuse can have many different signs and symptoms some visible and some not. Visible would be signs such as bruising or hand marks on the body. Others signs are not so easy to spot for example they might have depression, lack of sleep because of fear they will come back, pregnancy and many more. It can also affect them later in life especially when the abuse has stopped, they won’t feel they can trust people or partners which will affect them socially.
Emotional abuse is when someone manipulates your emotions; it can be done through many different ways such as humiliating a person or scaring them to think they have control over them. If someone is very intimidating towards you threatening you with physical abuse this is normally empty threats but the victim will be in fear of what could happen. Emotional abuse can be difficult to identify as it is not physical which leaves marks. There are three different patterns of emotional abuse such as aggressive, denying and minimising. Signs and symptoms of emotional abuse are hard to identify as there aren’t any physical marks. It normally knocks someone’s confidences leaving them feeling worthless. They will find it hard to trust others and will struggle with finding partners. Other signs and symptoms of emotional abuse is depression, anxiety, isolation from society, fearful behaviour, low confidence and addictions to substances.
Financial abuse is when someone controls or manipulates you to share your money. An example would be them having control over your bank account or having it in their name; this gives them full access to your money leaving you to feel helpless. Another example would be to take all cards or statement from leaving you with nothing, they control all your spending giving you an allowance. The person carrying out the abuse normally gains control by acting like they are offering help normally it will get out of control or they can do it through fear and intimidation. Signs and symptoms of financial abuse are not having enough money for food, unpaid bills, being overdrawn on bank accounts or personal items have gone missing. This can lead to the victim feeling like they have no control, they will feel scared of the outcome.
Institutional abuse is when someone has been mistreated and provided with inadequate care or support. The victim’s feelings or needs will be over looked, leaving someone to feel powerless. It can also be caused by the service having problems such as untrained staff, unsupervised staff, poor management and poor communication skills. Signs and symptoms of institutional abuse is denying someone their rights or food, drink, clothes or adequate living environments. Another major sign would be fears of punishment such as threatening to take personal possessions. Not allowing the victim to see family, friends, doctors or their care manager. This can have serious side effects especially if the person is ill and was denied to see a doctor.
Self-neglect happens when a person fails to take care of themselves on a day to day basis. They will not carry out basic requirements such as having regular food/drink intakes, keeping up personal hygiene, taking medication and many more. This can cause physical, mental or emotional damage. Reasons why someone might self-neglect are they might be depressed, poor health, mental health problems, cognitive problems and physically unable to care for themselves. Signs and symptoms of self-neglect malnourished, poor hygiene, dehydration, dirty clothing and poor health. This can normally be improved by seeing a doctor or having extra help at home.
Neglect by other
Neglect by others can happen when a service provider does not supply the day to day living need a person relies on. An example of this would be food, water, living accommodation, medication, access to a doctor if necessary or not allowing someone to wash. The care giver may refuse to carry out necessary personal tasks which they are there to do as the victim can’t do it themselves. The signs and symptoms are similar to self-neglect except it would be a care giver neglecting them. The victim may be dirty, dehydrated, malnourished, poor health and mentally effected.
If you suspect an individual is being neglected report it to your manager. Write a detailed account of what you know or seen. Make sure its kept private between you and your manager. They will report it to the appropriate authorities. However if it has not happened within a workplace you can report it to the police if you think they are in immediate danger which they will carry out a full investigation. If they aren’t in danger you can report it to the local safeguarding council.
If someone tells you they are being abused it is important to keep calm and listen. Never doubt that they are being untruthful, make them feel they to talk to you so they don’t feel embarrassed or that you’re judging the situation. Make a detailed account of when and where it happened included dates if they know. The individual needs to feel reassured that everything will be fine however they need to understand the information disclosed will be passed onto a manager or appropriate authorities. If they need medical attention it should be reported to either emergency services, their local doctor or your manager. If the law has been broken call 999 and report it to the police; they will do a full investigation.
All evidence must be kept safe by storing it in a secure place. It should be locked away so only the necessary people can get hold of it or read it. Anything that could have been used as evidence such as clothing or objects should be left for appropriate authorities to look at. It should not be discussed in public or with people outside of work, it needs to be kept confidential.
The Orchid view care home in Copthorne, West Sussex was labelled ‘Britain’s worst care home’. Last October there was an investigation carried out which found 19 residents had died due to poor care. Five more residents has died of natural causes after neglect. The residents in orchid view were a victim of institutional abuse. On multiple occasions care staff failed to provide adequate care. It was reported that in one single night 28 drug errors occurred. Care staff at the care home made medication errors which could have been avoided by more medication training. Jean Halfpenny died in 2010, she was given three times the prescribed dose of her blood thinning medication Warfarin over 17 days.
A boots pharmacist went to the care home to give advice, she reported concerns to CQC over the storage and mismanagement of the medication. It was also said the residents of orchid view care home were malnourished and were dehydrated. The home was very understaffed leaving residents to press their bells with no response on many occasions some service users couldn’t even reach their bells, this caused poor hygiene which lead to further health problems. Other concerns raised were poor pain managed and abusive behaviour towards the residents. The care was later shut down and is under new management. A full investigation was carried out many care workers were arrested however were not charged due to no evidence.
A social care worker should report any signs of unsafe practice to their manager. A detail account should be kept of the actual unsafe practice, time of day it happened, where it happened. This can be done through the whistle blowing policy which allows information to be shared. Your manager should immediately report this information to higher authority so a full investigation can be carried out and a resolution can be put in place. Any unlawful practice will be examined by the police which will lead to discipline.
If unsafe practice is reported and nothing is done to investigate or solve the problem, keep a copy the report which was sent to your manager this will act as evidence you’re ever needed to prove it was reported. Keep reporting it to your manager until something is done make sure an up to date record it kept to show the time you have tried to flag unsafe practice. You can also take it into your own hands to tell the person using the unsafe practice what they are doing wrong this may solve the problem. If nothing is still done after reporting multiple times contact CQC informing them of what’s happened, they will carry out an investigation.
If the individual is physically disabled they are more as risk of being abused by others. They may not be able to defend for themselves for example if someone was physically abusing them they might be unable to move therefore they can’t flight back or shield themselves. Also if they are unable to speak they might not be able to report who is abusing them or what’s happening. Age can be a major factor for someone to be abused. All ages can be abused but especially the elderly, they are more vulnerable. Older people suffer from financial abuse because they are unable to control it themselves, therefore they have to ask others for help.
This allows people to assess their bank accounts or saving accounts. People will take advantage and steal from them. People with sensory impairments are also makes individuals that are more vulnerable to abuse because they are less aware of what’s happening around them. If they have difficulty with sight or hearing they will not be aware of abuse such as if they were partially death they might be unable to her verbal abuse or if they are blind they might be able of financial abuse e.g. stealing from them.
By adopting a person centred approach you will empower an individual to take control; might their own decisions. This will give them more confidence and independence. This will have a massive impact on a person life if they feel they have control instead of needing help off others. If they have more confidence in themselves they will be less vulnerable, people will start to respect them for having their own opinions and having a voice and not a target to abuse them.
It’s important to encourage active participation because it gives them more freedom to make their decisions even if advice if given from health care professionals. It improves confidence and self-esteem to the point where they will not suffer from abuse if they were to be a victim. They won’t be targeted for abuse because they have more of a voice people will see they don’t need to rely on others. It will also improve social development as they will be able to make new friends and go out with people in social situations, this will make them less vulnerable because they will be more outgoing and less shy and reserved.
Having an effective and easy to use complaints procedure can reduce the likelihood of abuse because if anyone can use it more people are going to report abuse therefore its less likely to go unreported. If the people carrying out the abuse know the complaints procedure is easy and people can use it they are less likely to abuse the individuals in the first place. Also if it’s easy to use it means complaints are going to resolves quickly meaning the abuse wouldn’t of happen for long or disciplinary action will take place ensuring it won’t happen again. This also ensures the individuals are safeguarded appropriately against abuse.
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