P2: Describe indicators that abuse may be happening to adults.
Abuse may be revealed in a number of different ways. For example you may find that someone wants to tell you about it because they trust you. Also it might be from someone who has observed the abuse taking place, e.g. resident seeing a care worker shaking another resident because they were too slow getting dressed. The abuse is disclosed to the professional, sometimes with a request for confidentiality.
A medical opinion is required to label if an injury is non-accidental or accidental. For example, an injury may result from a fall but it may not be clear whether the fall was the result of a push or an accidental trip. However, there are some clear indicators such as fingermark bruises on the upper arm that show that the person has been grabbed and may have been shaken. Bruising around the mouth may be the result of force feeding. Burns from cigarettes ...view middle of the document...
g. bathing, changing and washing clothes) can fall into the same category. However this may also indicate someone who is suffering from depression.
Changes in behaviour
An important thing care workers must be aware of is any changes in behaviour that appear to be out of character for the individual. Examples may be;
Low self-esteem- no longer valuing themselves and lacking any motivation to bring about change in their lives
Mood swings- going from being a cheerful individual to one who is socially withdrawn and depressed
Willing to accept any suggestions from others without question and acting in a submissive manner. The often make little eye contact and individuals who previously held a range of strong views may become passive.
Vulnerable adults may subconsciously signal that all is not well by use of attention-seeking behaviour. Talking about suicide and having suicidal thoughts can also reveal feelings of helplessness and being trapped with no way out. It important to look for patterns of behavioural change rather than focus on one indecent. For example, does a resident’s behaviour become more withdrawn when a particular member of staff is on duty?
Other indicators may include unexplained withdrawals from bank accounts. This can lead to shortage of food in the house and reluctance to use the heating, even when it is cold, and it may indicate that someone else is enjoying the financial benefits. Sometimes it is hard to tell if the money was given or taken, for instance, by a family member.
Stress and related problems
The stress caused by abuse may show itself through associated health problems. Stress affects our cardiac, neurological, respiratory, gastro-intestinal and muscular systems. People who are under stress for any length of time may experience some of the following symptoms: panic attacks, palpitations, headaches, breathing difficulties, ulcers, loss of appetite, tension, bowel symptoms and sleep difficulties. Finally, a reluctance to be touched or to undress for a medical examination or be bathed by staff may indicate sexual abuse, while physically flinching when a voice is raised may indicate psychological and/or physical abuse.