Likewise, managers and supervisors in vocational situations vary in their ability to handle relationships with subordinates appropriately. Furthermore, any significant change in, and (especially) reversal of the power differential may present more challenges, particularly in conjunction with any concurrent issues such as a prior history of abuse of power earlier in the relationship, such as before the change or reversal (Wallace, 2005).
Family Stress Theory
Even under the best of circumstances, providing for the fulltime needs of a mentally incompetent and physically dependent elder patient can be tremendously stressful (Wallace, 2005). Caretakers in this situation frequently experience difficulty maintaining an appropriate demeanor in some situations or simply as a result of the prolonged stresses associated with being responsible for elder patients. Mentally impaired patients can be uncooperative and difficult and test the patience of caretakers (Wallace, 2005). This particular caretaker is hardly an ideal candidate to cope with those stressors in an appropriate manner.
Furthermore, it is highly likely that there is a prior family history of underlying emotional conflict arising substantially in connection with the caretakers long-term inability to maintain gainful employment and dependency on the subject. In such situations, that prior emotional dynamic and stressors within the historical relationship between the individuals may be a significant source of stress within the caretaker-dependent relationship. Moreover, that element of family stress typically occurs concurrent with issues related to social exchange dynamics (Wallace, 2005).
Most criminals in general (Halbert & Ingulli, 2008) and elder abusers in particular must maintain sufficient rationalizations to excuse their behavior and justify non-compliance with ordinary moral and legal obligations (Wallace, 2005). In this case, the caretaker may rationalize that the subject “needs fresh air” or “enjoys” accompanying him to the destinations where he neglects her by leaving her unattended in his cold vehicle.
He may also rationalize that he “does a lot” for her at home and “deserves” some recreation. With respect to possible physical abuse, neutralization theory would recognize justifications such as “she did worse to me when I was a child” (Wallace, 2005).
On the basis of our investigation, we conclude that the subject is likely in danger of chronic abuse and neglect in the custody and control of the caretaker. The evidence we collected suggests that the caretaker suffers from multiple psychopathological challenges in both the mental health and social adjustment areas. The caretaker may also be responding to typical dysfunctional impulses in connection with the reversal of power dynamic between parent and child in the dependent/caretaker role. The caretaker is not likely capable of managing the considerable stresses associated with his role. Finally, the caretaker is also in a position where he drives substantial financial benefit whether or not he provides appropriate care for the subject.
Accordingly, this agency recommends that the subject be removed from the custody and care of the caretaker and that the alternate family member be permitted to apply for guardianship pursuant to the applicable state law regarding patients who are mentally incapacitated. It is anticipated that the alternate caretaker will make arrangements with an appropriate assisted care facility and that this agency will follow up to ascertain the status of the patient shortly after the change in guardianship before closing this case.
Halbert, T. And Ingulli, E. (2008). Law & Ethics in the Business Environment. Cincinnati,