Abuse of the Elderly Mentally Retarded Individuals | My Paper Hub
~AbstractElderly individuals are just as
Elderly individuals are just as
vulnerable to abuse as young children. Sadly, it’s difficult for them to be
taken seriously due to their disabilities including intellectual disabilities.
Thousands of seniors are often abused yet this hidden social issue is often
overlooked in the community. Experts believe that the nature of the abuse is
perhaps what makes it a silent issue. The victims also experience distress as
no one might believe them when reporting the abuse or they may not be able to
communicate or seek support. The abuse of seniors is becoming prevalent, and
the rates are even exceeding their susceptibility to some of the diseases
related to old age. Elderly abuse can, therefore, be outlined among the leading
social issues facing the society today. The abuse of seniors with mental
retardation will be explored in this paper alongside the levels, causes, and
prevention of the condition. The paper will also focus on the abuse that
results from having the condition and how that can also be avoided.
Elderly Mentally Retarded Individuals
What is mental retardation?
Mental retardation (MR) refers to a
condition whereby individuals have below average intelligence that hinders
their optimal functioning and daily living. The condition is normally present
in childhood thus interfering with proper brain development. While the normal
person’s intelligent quotient (IQ) is estimated to be an average of 100, people
with mental retardation have a lower IQ ranging between 70 to 75 or even lower.
Other than poor communication and health, mentally disabled individuals
experience difficulties with daily living, work, community interactions,
leisure activities, schooling, and social skills. Statistics indicate that over
10 million people in the United States have mental retardation. The condition
is often common among males than females ("Mental Retardation - body,
causes, What Is Mental Retardation?", 2018).
Levels of mental retardation
Mental retardation is classified into
four levels namely; profound, severe, moderate, and mild (Smith, 2010). Each
classification is based on an individual’s ability to learn adaptive skills
like social interaction, and performance on IQ tests that are standardized.
Each level is as outlined below;
Most MR individuals belong here and have
IQ levels ranging from 55 to 69. In fact, it might not be easy for such people
to be diagnosed with the condition. For instance, most mildly retarded children
go undiscovered until they start schooling. A retarded child will feed, walk,
and talk slowly compared to others. However, they can still cope up with math
and learn practical skills to around fifth or sixth-grade class. Mildly
retarded adults have continuously proved that they can learn social among other
skills and live independently.
Individuals with IQ levels of 40 to 54
are classified as moderately retarded. The number of people who are moderately
retarded is smaller than those who are mildly retarded. Children diagnosed with
this level of retardation showcase poor motor skills and slow speech
development. They also find it hard to do math or read. However, they can learn
basic communication among other simple skills. Even though the moderately
retarded cannot live alone, they can take themselves to familiar places or even
perform simple tasks.
This level of mental retardation involves
individuals with an IQ between 20 to 39 which makes a small percentage of MR
people. Severely retarded individuals are easily discovered at birth or soon
after they’re born. They showcase poor ability to communicate as early as
preschool, but with constant training, they learn some self-help skills
including how to feed and bathe. As they grow up, they also get better at
speech and walking. However, even in adulthood, they need to stay in a
protected environment even though they can manage to follow daily routines.
People with IQs of 0 to 24 are diagnosed
with this level of retardation. The condition is typically discovered at birth
and is usually accompanied by other medical problems. Such children require
proper nursing care and should be continuously supervised. Profoundly retarded
children present delays in all aspects of development, but they learn to use
their jaws and limbs with training. They may learn to walk and communicate
during adulthood. Nonetheless, they require total support in daily living.
Causes of mental retardation
A combination of several factors can
cause mental retardation. Studies indicate that reasons for one in three cases
of MR are unknown, which makes it a complex condition. Causes related to MR
include early childhood illnesses, defects in chromosomes or genes,
environmental influences, and injuries on a developing fetus. However, the
three most known causes are;
Experts have formulated different ways to
organize MR causes. In most occasions, they’ve classified them into four groups
and environmental factors
and toxins and
However, most experts also concur with
another system that divides the causes into three categories according to when
the event first occurred. These groups are prenatal, perinatal, and postnatal.
Prenatal – These are causes whose
effects occur before birth. Examples of prenatal causes include neural
tube defects, toxins ingested by an expectant lady, and heredity. Heredity
and genetics mainly involve such conditions as Down syndrome,
phenylketonuria (PKU), and Fragile X syndrome. The toxins include tobacco
and alcohol or drug exposure during pregnancy. Infections such as HIV/AIDS
can also take a toll on a fetus. Other harmful infections include
toxoplasmosis and rubella (also known as German measles). Mental
retardation can also be caused by neural tube disorders including spina
bifida (whereby the spinal column isn’t completely closed) and anencephaly
(whereby most of the baby’s brain is missing at birth). Pregnant women are
also advised not to drink too much since this could lead their unborn baby
to be mentally retarded through a condition called fetal alcohol syndrome.
Exposure to radiation when heavy with a child and maternal nutrition could
also lead to MR.
Perinatal – These are causes that
take place during the process of birth. They include injuries during
delivery such as head trauma, umbilical cord accidents, obstetrical
trauma, and oxygen deprivation (asphyxia/anoxia). Low birth weight (less
than 1.5 kilos) is also included in this category. Babies born prematurely
are likely to be mentally retarded than those born maturely.
Postnatal – These are causes that
present themselves after birth such as severe malnutrition and mercury
poisoning. Most of these events are determined by the environment. They
include situations like neglect, accidents, child abuse, societal biases,
and environmental toxins. Diseases like meningitis and encephalitis also
lead to MR among infants.
Preventing Mental Retardation
Absolute means of preventing mental
retardation are lacking. Nonetheless, it’s possible to avoid some cases of MR
through public health education, prenatal testing, and better health care. For
instance, expectant mothers can prevent their fetus from being harmed by
getting vaccinated against infections like rubella and avoiding drinking or
using narcotic drugs. Individuals looking forward to becoming parents can seek
genetic counseling to establish their likelihood to have a baby with inherited
MR. Modern healthcare through medical tests including amniocentesis,
ultrasonography, and chorionic villus sampling has made it possible to detect
inherited chromosomal and metabolic disorders related to MR. During birth,
babies should be protected from head injuries or lead poisoning. Also, the
blood of newborn babies can be screened for disorders so that treatment can be
Coping up with MR
Unfortunately, there is no cure for
mental retardation. The only form of treatment is helping individuals with MR
to realize their full potential through developing their skills whether
self-help or educational. Children with the condition can exploit their fullest
potential with the help of the community, specially trained educators, and
parents. Regular counseling can also help the parents or guardians cope with
the changes that come along with living with an intellectually disabled person.
Children diagnosed with MR either live in a community residence or at home
while attending regular school. All states are mandated to provide proper
education for mentally retarded children until the age of 21.
Mental Retardation among the elderly
Seniors with mental retardation showcase
among others the following symptoms;
interacting with others or communicating
to think logically
While the mentally retarded are said to
have a shorter lifespan than normal people, statistics indicate that the life
expectancy of mentally handicapped has significantly increased over the years.
The mean age of both sexes in the population, as well as the percentage of
people aged over 55, has risen steadily over time. Carter & Jancar (1983)
discovered that the average age of death had gone up from 22 to 60 years for
women and 15 to 58 for men over a 50-year period. The survival rate has
increased with some living beyond 60 years (Day, 1985).
Common forms of abuse
Elder abuse can take place in various
ways, but the most prevalent forms of abuse are psychological and financial
abuse. Other popular cases include using a senior’s property or funds without
authorization, physical abuse, sexual abuse, restricting their social freedom, neglect,
emotional abuse, and exploitative behavior. Emotional abuse may include such
cases as coercion, humiliation, verbal assault, confinement and social
isolation. Physical abuse includes; kicking, slapping, injury by use of a
weapon, and pushing. Sexual abuse may involve sexual harassment and assault.
What’s shocking is that over 60 percent
of the offenders are mature sons and daughters of the victims. The costs of
living in the modern day are skyrocketing, and most children are eager to put
their hands on their elderly parents’ fortune, a move termed as ‘early
inheritance syndrome.’ Since children feel entitled to the wealth or assets of
their parents, those experiencing ‘tough time’ are not ready to wait until
their parents are dead. They continuously device means to extort money from
their parents or interfere with the running or management of their folk’s
assets to protect their interests in the name of entitlement or inheritance.
Other reasons that heighten the risk of abuse for the elderly mentally retarded
victim’s inability to complain or be believed
negative attitude of the society against individuals with mental disability
others for life necessities
General signs of abuse
following signs on a mentally disabled elderly could mean that they are being
abused. However, these indicators are not necessarily proof of abuse. They
include the following;
tendencies such as self-mutilation or drug abuse
extreme aggression, or depression
fear of particular individuals or place
Abuse and exploitation of mentally
retarded seniors can be prevented through various ways including the following
three levels ("Preventing abuse and
Primary prevention – Focused
strategies on community networks, workplaces, families, and the general
public. Campaign for positive roles and valued status for individuals with
mental retardation in the community
Secondary prevention – Targets the
victims and includes such strategies as strengthening abuse recognition,
reducing risks, protection build up, and fortifying response systems. It
also involves creating safer services and supporting carers as well as
families with mentally retarded elders.
Tertiary prevention - Concentrates on known events of abuse
and therefore involves strategies to support victims through such steps as
recovery support and linking them up to the authorities or the criminal
Other ways to prevent abuse of mentally
retarded seniors who are mentally retarded includes involving them in the
community so that they cannot feel neglected. They should be given an
opportunity to take control over their life, make their own decisions, and do
as much as possible independently without constant interference ("What You
Need to Know", 2011). Nonetheless, care should always prevail.
Human rights organizations and other
bodies such as the United Nations have joined hands to campaign against the
vice of elderly mentally retarded abuse among other forms of elder abuse. In
fact, the United Nations recognizes June 15th as World Elder Abuse Awareness
Day ("Elderly Easy Prey for Abuse", 2017). The day is commemorated
annually to remind people that their rights in the community remain even as
they get older. Such important rights include;
to be treated with respect and dignity
to be safe and feel safe
to maintain personal independence
to live without neglect, abuse, or exploitation
Seniors, especially those who are
intellectually disabled are the most vulnerable in the society. For that
particular reason, they should not be exploited, abused or left to fend for
themselves. Those who come across victims or perpetrators should report these
cases and seek proper support.
Calculate The Price Of Your Order
Total Price After Discount:
Frequently Asked Questions
All our writers are PHD prepared individuals. All the writers have vast experiences in specified fields for example for nursing orders the writers must have (nursing experience and major exposure to healthcare)
We get our articles from PubMed (for medicine orders and nursing) and whatever we can access through Google and scholarly references. We use professional sites and any relatable recent references within ten years.
We have a strict 0% plagiarism policy. All our papers are written from scratch and are properly cited.
Furthermore, we use premium plagiarism checkers to scan all documents before delivery.
The paper you will receive will be 100% original.
Email everything to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. You will receive a confirmation email from the support staff.
First, proceed to place your order then you can attach and send everything else the writer will need via email.
Yes, any alterations will be free of charge as long as they are in line with the initial instructions provided. No "surprises" regarding the price.
Any feedback from her professor will be taken seriously, and the writer (under our terms) will work on all changes without any extra payments (we do not have any hidden charges).
We will conduct a free plagiarism check, chapter by chapter. Editing is free of charge since the writer works hand in hand with an assigned editor.
The account will automatically be created for you by our database. The account only notes your order details and the price for your order, nothing much.