Aged maltreatment has been prevalent in our society and it has non been discussed often as compared to other issues in our society and non much research has been done on senior maltreatment in Singapore. Due to such restrictions present in the survey of aged maltreatment, this creates an feeling that aged maltreatment is a rare happening and is non a possible menace to our society. With the studies on existent life aged maltreatment instances, it is apparent that aged maltreatment does be and is non a rare happening in Singapore as most of the clip, such incidences go underreported. Furthermore, it is frequently hard to observe aged maltreatment as in the first topographic point, there is a deficiency of consciousness as to what really comprises aged maltreatment. Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, curate for community young person and athleticss, at the one-year household force symposium in the twelvemonth 2009, cautioned that as Singapore comprises one of the fastest ageing populations in the universe, we have to be prepared and expect an addition in the figure of instances affecting senior maltreatment. ( straits Times ) . What is more distressing that bulk of the seniors suffer maltreatment under the custodies of their ain kids due to the emphasis induced on them from attention giving. Hence, aged maltreatment has become one of the most of import compelling societal issues which have to be addressed due to the nature of Singapore ‘s demographic tendencies which consists an increasing proportion of aged. Therefore, in this paper, the societal issue of my focal point would be aged maltreatment in Singapore.
A common job faced with respects to the treatment of aged maltreatment would be the issue about what precisely constitutes older maltreatment. As a consequence, many instances of senior maltreatment go unreported. ( pg 28, say no to elder maltreatment ) .The Golden Life Workgroup on Elder Abuse Prevention formed in Singapore in the twelvemonth, 2002, adheres to the World Health Organization ( WHO ) ‘s definition of senior maltreatment. It defines elder maltreatment in its study presented to the authorities as
“ A individual or repeated act or deficiency of appropriate action, happening within any relationship where there is an outlook of trust or responsibility of attention, which causes injury or hurt to an older individual. ” ( Golden life workgroup on senior maltreatment, 2004 PG 16, World Health Organization 2002 ) CITE PROPERLY
The Ministry of Community Youth and Sports ( MCYS ) categorises aged maltreatment into 5 chief groups such as fiscal, disregard, forsaking, physical and psychological maltreatment. ( Understanding Elder Abuse and Neglect pg 8 cheque twelvemonth 2004? ) .
The ageing tendencies of Singapore suggests that with addition in life anticipation, the aged would now necessitate more long term attention than earlier and there will be an increasing degree of dependence on their kids to back up them. With worsening birth rates, there would be fewer attention givers in the household. This creates ample chance for aged maltreatment to take topographic point. ( UN Secretary-General ‘s Report, March 2002 ) . The per centum of aged who are aged above 65, in 2009 was 8.80 % and the jutting per centum of aged in the twelvemonth 2030 is expected to lift to 18.7 % . ( Statistical Indexs on the Elderly, MCYS ) .The United Nations uses the dependence ratio as a marker of the possible dependence load to foretell the sum of load which has to be carried by the working population. ( Beginning: Population Division, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, United Nations Secretariat 2007 hypertext transfer protocol: //www.un.org/ageing/popageing.html ) . In the instance of Singapore, as the old-age dependence ratio is increasing each twelvemonth whereby in the twelvemonth 2008 it was 11.9 per 100 and in the twelvemonth 2010 it increased to 12.2 per 100. ( Department of Statistics, 2011 ) . This has serious deductions for Singapore, as the working population has to shoulder the load of attention giving and fiscal support. Now, it becomes even more ambitious with the lifting figure of singles and married twosomes taking non to hold any kids or merely holding one kid. Such state of affairss have serious reverberations as the future tendency will be such that attention giving on the aged will be entirely shouldered by the lone kid and this creates an increasing sum of emphasis and force per unit area on the sole health professional which in return causes them to mistreat the aged. It was reported in the Straits times that each twelvemonth a sum of about 178 instances of aged maltreatment were being reported and out these 178 instances reported about 120 instances of the aged were abused by their ain kids. ( Theresa Tan, The Straits Times ( Singapore ) October 22, 2009 Thursday ) .
There are assorted theories to explicate the grounds for the happening of aged maltreatment. The societal exchange theory seeks to further explicate the grounds for aged to see force from their culprits utilizing the construct of societal resources such as power, fiscal stableness and position. ( Quote: societal work text edition pg 324 ) , Pillemer, 1989 refer to no eldlerly maltreatment book behind ) . Increasing degree of dependence on kids creates a possible environment for maltreatment to take topographic point, as the aged authorization is now diminished due to miss of power and necessary resources which the potency health professional has. Hence, such a power dimension with respects to the handiness of resources creates instability and strain in the relationship between the aged and the health professional. Another case whereby an aged maltreatment can take topographic point can be explained through another theory known as the ecological theory, is when the health professional of the aged themselves might be undergoing several jobs for case they themselves might hold fiscal troubles or could be enduring from some wellness conditions. Therefore, looking after an aged may bring on emphasis on the health professional whereby in some state of affairss, as a signifier of get bying mechanism they might vent out their defeats on the aged under their attention through verbal and physical maltreatment and this causes the aged to be in a greater exposure to mistreat. ( MCYS, brochure ) . An illustration to exemplify such a instance which was cited in a Straits times article will be about an single boy who was in his mid-fortiess who had to give up his occupation to look after his female parent who was bedfast and enduring from dementedness. Not being able to manage the emphasis that he was traveling through, he used to hit his female parent often. ( Theresa Tan, The Straits Times ( Singapore October 22, 2009 Thursday ) . Most of the times, the victims of aged maltreatment tend to be aged who are wholly dependent on their kids in footings of fiscal and health care facets and therefore the culprits of aged maltreatment are normally their kids or person they dependent on. ( Quotation mark: The Pattern of Elderly Abuse Presenting to an Emergency Department, G W M Cham, E Seow, 2004, pg 571 ) .
Although, the figure of aged maltreatment and neglect instances are less than 200, it should non be taken at face value that the aged maltreatment is a rare phenomenon. Coming from an Asiatic society, particularly in a part whereby Confucian values are predominating, since most of the culprits are their ain kids, the aged seldom study about them being abused as they do non desire to be embarrassed or do non desire to be judged upon, looked down for raising kids who are opprobrious. ( Penhale 1993, British diary of societal work, 23,2 ) . For other aged, they might take to endure under the custodies of their kids instead than describing them as they are progressively dependent on their kids to carry through their basic demands, they fear of losing them or they fear of the future effects such as intensified degree of maltreatment from the culprit when they resort to describing them. ( Lee and Pang, 2003, stab 2000 ) . Due to such underreporting and the denial of being abused farther heightens this societal issue as the aged tend to endure in silence.
The societal issue of aged maltreatment should be viewed in footings of a micro and macro degree. ( societal work ) From the illustrations cited in this paper, it can be seen that most of the Elderly maltreatment which is one signifier of household force was ab initio seen to be a private matter which was confined to and occurred normally in the household domain which is the micro degree. When the issue of the senior maltreatment is besides being experienced by bulk of the citizens in Singapore every bit good, with the increasing figure of instances of senior maltreatment being cited in the newspapers and with the fast paced ageing population in Singapore, this issue of older maltreatment now becomes a public and national issue which the province has to turn to. ( textboo ) For case, in the earlier old ages when it came to issues about maltreatment more attending had been given to child and bridal maltreatment but non aged maltreatment. ( say no elderl maltreatment ) Presently as more instances of aged maltreatments are coming to the spotlight, it is an issue which is worthy of concern. Therefore, aged maltreatment and disregard is a societal issue which non merely affects the aged but it besides the remainder of the population who now have to shoulder the duty of back uping the aged.
There are many positions with respects to the issue of aged maltreatment and how it should be tackled. First from the province ‘s point of position, it purely adopts a non-welfare attack.The province believes that assorted societal safety cyberspaces such as the community, societal services and non-profit organisations have to come together to undertake the societal issue of aged maltreatment. The province chiefly uses the legal attack and third intercession in the signifier of Torahs to undertake senior maltreatment and disregard. For illustration the Women ‘s charter seeks to cover with household force and protect household members including the aged who are being abused. The fiscal disregard of aged is being handled under the Maintenance of Parents Act which allows the parents to demand fiscal support from their kids through the Tribunal tribunal. ( say no to elder ) . The Care of Parents Act although allows parents to demand for fiscal provison from their kids. This solution can assist the aged to seek fiscal support from their loath kids particularly when they have no 1 to turn to. Unfortutantely, this is merely a impermanent solution as the jurisprudence merely address the fiscal disregard facet and does non turn to the emotional facet of the aged. It is because the jurisprudence can non mandate kids to be loving towards their parents.This present solution posses certain deficits, for case, , many parents may non desire usage this care act in order non do further problem for their kids. Another job with this solution is that many of the aged are non even cognizant about the being of such legal model.
From the medical physicians and healthcare professionals ‘ position, there has been increasing concern with respects to aged maltreatment and disregard. Hospitals now see an increasing figure of attention givers perpetrating self-destruction due to non being able to manage the force per unit areas of attention giving and some even result to mistreating their parents under their attention non because of the purpose of mistreating them but because they do non cognize who to manage the state of affairs. ( srraits times ) In a recent stratis clip a physician in the article mentioned that one of her patients ‘s girl who was the exclusive attention giver would coerce feed her until the patient had to be treated in infirmary for malnutrition and despite continuously being admitted into the infirmary, she was non told where to acquire aid and the health professional by opportunity found out that there is a Centre which provides aid in attention giving. ( straits Times ) . From the wellness attention professionals view, they feel that the province can come up with even more rigourous legal model and the province could assist in making a strong web between infirmaries and assorted caregiving Centres so that the patients are able to acquire revelant aid to get by with the demanding undertakings of attention giving. Furthermore, wellness attention professionals can play a cardinal function in observing aged maltreatment. The exigency section is one of import topographic point whereby aged who are abused are being isolated and it can be the lone appropriate state of affairs to observe instances of aged maltreatment. ( W S Pang, 2000 ) .The wellness attention professionals face a quandary when they encounter or suspect that their aged patients might hold been abused. It is because there are no specific Torahs turn toing aged maltreatment or disregard which consequences in non holding a clear focal point of what really constititues an aged maltreatment. ( Quote pg 50 ) . There are attempts to implement Torahs such as Maintenance of Parents Act by the province to protect aged in some ways nevertheless, there is no Torahs which calls for compulsory coverage of aged maltreatment instances. Hence this creates a quandary on portion of the physicians as to whether or non to describe instances of maltreatment. Due to the absence of a clear and proper model or solution for the infirmary professionals to purely adhere to, such a state of affairs causes an aged to be trap in a barbarous rhythm of maltreatment. This has implicit in effects in the hereafter as more instances of aged maltreatment may go undetected.
From the societal workers and policy shapers perspective, they believe that more can be done in preparation health care professionals and societal workers in footings of apprehension and observing aged maltreatment. In add-on, they believe that more attention giving centres can be set up to cut down emphasis of the attention givers and serve as an intercession for maltreatment instances. This solution is can be really utile in the long tally as it helps to protect aged and helps to consell and educating the stressed health professional which finally helps to forestall the aged from being farther abused. However, one country of concern would be that the handiness and increasing figure of caregiving centres and residential places can besides make a room for abuse whereby kids of the aged for their convenience and in order to fling their duty as they might utilize such topographic points to dump their parents at that place. Therefore, there has be rigorous ordinances with respects to the admittance into the caregiving centres.
After sing all the different positions being offered refering to aged maltreatment, in my position, I would back up and favor wellness professionals, societal workers and policy shapers view particularly with the position that the province has to follow stricter and harsher Torahs when it comes to aged maltreatment. The absence of mandotary coverage of aged maltreatment, creates the chief job for leting aged maltreatment instances to travel unreported. Furthermore with the absence of a clear model of what really constitutes older maltreatment or how this societal issue can be tackled it creates a signifier of weakness on the portion of the health care and societal work professionals as they are non being able to step in in aged maltreatment instances quickly. In my position once the province has come up with a clear set of Torahs specifically turn toing to aged maltreatment and one time there is an the execution of compulsory coverage so it becomes easier for the health care professionals and societal workers to be better equipped in step ining in aged maltreatment instances.
In decision, as discussed in this paper, aged maltreatment is one of the cardinal societal issues which the provinces has to constantly look into every bit aged maltreatment requires tonss of intercession programmes, preparation and instruction of the populace and societal work professionals. Aged maltreatment can hold serious effects on the mental wellness of the aged and they might lose their self-respect in life as a normal homo and their basic human rights such as the freedom to contend against any maltreatment and favoritism against them is being lost. Therefore it becomes a necessity to guarantee that these group of aged non merely will hold the proper health care installations but it is besides our society ‘s outermost responsibility to guarantee that the aged age with self-respect and they spent their last old ages in a protected and non opprobrious household environment.