Psychiatric Abuse of the Elderly
In today’s high-pressure world, tradition is too often replaced by more modern means of dealing with the demands of life. For example, while once heavily community, church and family-based, today the task of caring for our parents and grandparents routinely falls to organizations such as nursing homes or aged-care centers. There we trust that professionally trained staff will take care of our elders as we would.
However, the reality of nursing home life today is often far from the stylized and advertized images of communicative, interactive and interested elderly residents living in an idyllic environment. By contrast, more often than not, elderly in nursing homes are often quiet, appear somewhat vacant, a sort of lifelessness about them, perhaps blankly staring or deeply introspective and withdrawn. If not by drugs, these conditions can also be brought on by the use of electroshock treatment (ECT) or simply the threat of painful and demeaning restraints.
This is the legacy of the widespread introduction of psychiatric treatment into the care of the elderly over the last few decades, and the consequences have been disastrous.Read More