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The issue of abusing of the elderly

Published the issue of abusing of the elderly 2016 Mar 18. Lachs Find articles by Mark S. For permissions, please e-mail: This article has been cited by other articles in PMC.

Elder mistreatment is now recognized internationally as a pervasive and growing problem, urgently requiring the attention of health care systems, social welfare agencies, policymakers, and the general public. In this article, we provide an overview of global issues in the field of elder abuse, with a focus on prevention.

This article provides a scoping review of key issues in the field from an international perspective. By drawing primarily on population-based studies, this scoping review provided a more valid and reliable synthesis of current knowledge about prevalence and risk factors than has been available.

Despite the lack of scientifically rigorous intervention research on elder abuse, the review also identified 5 promising strategies for prevention. The findings highlight a growing consensus across studies regarding the extent and causes of elder mistreatment, as well as the urgent need for efforts to make elder mistreatment prevention programs more effective and evidence based.

Elder abuse, Epidemiology, Risk factor models, Prevention Elder abuse is now recognized internationally as an extensive and serious problem, urgently requiring the attention of health care systems, social welfare agencies, policymakers, and the general public.

With a global explosion in the older adult population, elder abuse is expected to become an even more pressing problem, affecting millions of individuals worldwide. Elder abuse is associated with devastating individual consequences and societal costs, meriting attention as a serious public health issue.

This emphasis is appropriate because elder abuse is likely the most widespread problem of older people that is largely preventable unlike many disease conditions of old age. Therefore, a better understanding of causes and prevention of elder abuse should be a major international priority.

Fortunately, an improving international scientific literature has accompanied this growing concern, including prevalence studies in a number of countries and international comparative projects.

  1. The Aged Care Amendment Security and Protection Bill 2007 was introduced in response to the nursing home rapes scandal in 2006. The main goals are.
  2. Elder abuse is defined by the U.
  3. It gets excused "she bruises so easily" , rationalized "he was going to inherit that money soon anyway" or simply missed by good people in a position to help who didn't know what to look for, or how to intervene. Health and personal care is the issue most raised.
  4. ACC are not alone in urging the Federal Government to extend reporting to include other common forms of abuse - including psychological abuse.

In addition, prevention strategies have been increasingly documented in some countries. We conducted a scoping review to gain an overview of the literature on elder abuse prevalence and risk factors. We restricted the review to high-quality elder abuse prevalence studies in order to synthesize and advance the most valid and reliable knowledge available.

Elder Abuse: Global Situation, Risk Factors, and Prevention Strategies

To this end, we only included population-based elder abuse prevalence studies using random or exhaustive sampling and that collected data directly from older adults. We excluded studies based on convenience, clinical, or social service agency samples, as well as studies that collected data from caregivers, professionals, or agency records to identify cases of elder abuse.

We focused on regional or national-level studies unless this scale of research was unavailable in a given country e. The 20 studies informing our scoping review of elder abuse prevalence and risk factors are described in Supplementary Table.

A Painful Secret

In addition, we consulted international comparative documents regarding the state of elder abuse programing in different countries. Special characteristics of the review of prevention programs are described in that section. Definitions Research and intervention strategies regarding any form of interpersonal abuse depend on a case definition that withstands the criteria of research operationalization, clinical applicability, and policy formulation.

A major barrier to improving our understanding elder abuse has been the use of widely varying, and sometimes poorly constructed, definitions of the phenomenon. Fortunately, consensus is now emerging regarding both the general definition of elder abuse as well as the major types of mistreatment encompassed by the term.

Elder abuse

Elder abuse is defined as: Researchers, practitioners, and most legal statutes recognize the following types of abuse: Although elder abuse generally falls into one or more of these five types, reports have documented extensive cultural variation in the circumstances and context of elder abuse. For example, widows in some traditional societies risk having their the issue of abusing of the elderly seized and being abandoned by their families.

In some regions of India and Africa, mourning activities expected of widows would elsewhere be considered abusive, such as being forced into marriage or being expelled from their homes Kumari, 2014 ; McFerson, 2013. Thus, significant cultural variation exists in these five forms in which elder abuse appears.

Prevalence Data from a number of countries about the extent of elder abuse justify urgent attempts to address the problem.

Although some population surveys suffer from unclear or overly broad definitions or questionable methods, evidence is now available from a number of well-conducted, large-scale population surveys of community-dwelling individuals in a number of countries.

Elder abuse research tends to be subdivided into typologies based on community or institutional living older adult populations Acierno et al. In the following review of elder abuse prevalence, we focus on community-based surveys. Elder abuse prevalence in institutional settings is not covered because of the lack of research in this area; no reliable prevalence studies have been conducted of such mistreatment in nursing homes or other long-term care facilities.

Elder abuse prevalence rates for separate and aggregate forms of mistreatment described in this section are based on a synthesis of results from 18 studies in Supplementary Table that reported prevalence rates using a 1-year period.

Why Elder Abuse Is Everyone

Among the remaining 18 studies using a 1-year prevalence period, not all studies collected data on every form of elder abuse. Therefore, the synthesized elder abuse subtype prevalence rates were based on the subsets of studies with relevant data. Physical Abuse Elder physical abuse was the most consistently measured mistreatment type.

Action against elder abuse

In nearly all studies, physical abuse caseness was defined as one or more events within a designated prevalence period. Figure 1 shows the distribution of 1-year physical abuse prevalence rates across studies, which ranged from 0.

Two studies from Asia reported somewhat higher physical abuse rates India: