Domestic Abuse and Children Essay

Domestic Abuse And Children Essay

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An older adult as defined in our culture today is a person age 55 and older. This group is comprised of individuals we affectionately refer to as baby boomers all the way to pre-World War II era folks. These are people that have lived through war, economic crises, the civil rights movement, shifts in popular culture from music to recreational drugs and all points in between to name a few, all of which could be considered both problematic and traumatic all in the same breath. It is expected by the American Journal on Addictions that by the year 2020 all baby boomers will be age 50 and older. By 2030 they will be 65 and older, and to put this in perspective even more think about this, that 88.5 million people in the year 2050 are estimated to be comprised of older adults age 65 and older. In the equation of our adult lives there are four prevalent factors that define our behavior, that as we get older increase in difficulty and functionality they are respectively: • Cognitive Function • Biological Factors • Psychological Factors • Social Factors First, as we become older adults, basically we begin to slow down cognitively in the way we process information, very similar to the way a computer that has reached its memory space capacity. Our visual perception becomes, motor skills begin to diminish the older we get and starts effecting our response time. What took us only a matter of minutes in our 20’s and 30’s could take hours and feel like an eternity. Biologically, in the most simple of terms the body can begin to go through a process of breaking down. As a result the body of an older adult can become very sensitive to medications when used to treat various ailments, creating the perfect storm for codependency on that particular drug. Psychologically, it can be the similar to the body breaking down biologically, except there’s a mental break down instead. Everyone has their own coping mechanisms for dealing with stress, grief, pain, and so forth, however, with older adults these things can be magnified and intensely more difficult to deal with and overcome. There are tendencies for older adults to become more focused on their own mortality especially as loved ones and friends begin to pass away, causing them to look inward at feel fragile, even helpless. This vulnerability can lead to escapism and wanting to find a diversion from the reality of what’s happening in their lives. Socially, life begins to change swiftly and in some instances drastically as mentioned before about death of loved ones and friends. These changes can often be very traumatic for older adults causing some to withdraw from society and become more isolated. Not all older adults are able to work, therefore, their feeling of self-worth and identity may decrease. Case Study During my foundation year practicum, I was at a local hospital completing a field placement and a 76 year woman presented on the stroke unit with a history of one stroke and a four year habit of prescription drug abuse. I was not aware that this was more common than not until the social worker stated a lot of the elderly come in depressed from recent medical procedures and with habits. She stated a lot of hospital staff doesn’t address the issue because the patient is elderly. She stated one physician said, “Drugs use over 65 should be an option”. The patient’s family was very concerned and one of the sons felt the drugs caused the stroke and it was the physicians fault for prescribing her such an addictive drug. As I listened to one of the sons, he described his mom as a hard working single parent that suffered a stroke with paralysis two years ago. He stated rehabilitation helped very little and she had a limp that she was embarrassed of and it made her depressed. Also, he stated every time he mentioned medicine abuse to a physician they would say his mother was old enough to make her own decisions. In recent years there has been an increased awareness within the public to the health ramifications of prescription drug abuse among older. In adults as reported in an article in the Journal of Aging and Health, Illicit and Nonmedical Drug Use Among Older Adults the number of adults 50 and older
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