Although these care facilities had been designed to provide care that provided more care available in private homes and less than that available in the hospitals, persons living in long-term care facilities are still the victims of physical, emotional, sexual, or financial abuse (Tatara, 1993). Neglect of the residents in that sense legally construes abuse. In this assignment, abuse and neglect in Pennsylvania's long term care facilities will be critically examined from the point of view of exploring the causes and status of it in the state of Pennsylvania and what law can do to prevent it. To this end, it is imperative to have the legal definitions of these terms need to be established first for the reader's benefits (Underwood, 2005).
Caretaker: Under schedule 10225.103 of Pennsylvania Law means an individual or an institution that has assumed the responsibility for the provision of care needed to maintain the physical and mental health of an older adult. This responsibility may arise in several conditions. It may arise voluntarily, by contract, by receipt of payment in lieu of care provided, out of family relationship, or by the order of court of competent jurisdiction. This act, however, mentions that it does not intend to impose responsibility on any individual who is not legally responsible for such (National Research Council, 2003).
Older Adult: Most of the older adults are residents of long-term care facilities. The same Pennsylvania law defines an older adult to be a person within the jurisdiction of the Commonwealth who is 60 years old or older than that. Therefore, older adult who is in need of protective services would be an incapacitated adult who would be unable to perform activities or obtain services that are necessary to maintain psychological and physical health and wellbeing, for whom there is no responsible caretaker, making him vulnerable to the imminent risks of danger to his person or property (National Research Council, 2003).
Abuse: Under the same section of law and also under section 672, abuse is defined as one or more of the following acts. These include infliction of injury, unreasonable confinement, intimidation, and/or punishment that may result into physical harm, pain or mental anguish. This may also include the willful deprivation by a caretaker or caretaker organization of goods or services that are necessary for maintenance of physical or mental health. Moreover Protection from Abuse act, 1976, also includes in this category acts of sexual harassment, abuse, or rape. However, the law excludes the grounds of uncontrollable environmental factors such as housing, furnishings, income, clothing, and medical care (National Research Council, 2003).
Neglect: In this law, neglect means the failure to provide for self or failure of the care provider to provide goods or services essential to avoid a clear and serious threat to physical and mental health. As per this law, however, no older adult who does not consent to the protective services shall be found to be neglected solely on the grounds of environmental factors which are beyond the control of the older adult or the caretaker, such as, inadequate housing, furnishi