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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 121565 Find in a Library
Title: Abuse of the Elderly: Knowns and Unknowns (From Abuse of the Elderly: Issues and Annotated Bibliography, P 95-112, 1989, Benjamin Schlesinger and Rachel Schlesinger, eds. -- See NCJ-121555)
Author(s): B Schlesinger; R A Schlesinger
Date Published: 1989
Page Count: 18
Sponsoring Agency: Reasoned Straight Program, Inc
Jessup, MD 20794
Sale Source: Reasoned Straight Program, Inc
P.O. Box 700
Jessup, MD 20794
United States of America
Type: Issue Overview
Language: English
Country: Canada
Annotation: Demographic factors such as the growing elderly population in Canada, the rapidly expanding population of elderly women, and the increasing life expectancy of both men and women, highlight the urgency of confronting the issue of elder abuse in our society.
Abstract: There is little recognition of this elderly population as a resource. Research indicates that elders in Western societies are an important welfare mechanism, giving more economic assistance to their families than they receive. Grandparents can serve as family stabilizers, particularly as four- and five-generation families become common. But because people are living longer than their elders, they lack role models for later life family relations. Elder abuse has emerged as one of the violations of rights that encompass denial of basic rights of the elderly. The elderly face physical abuse, negligence, financial exploitation, psychological abuse, violation of rights, and self-neglect. Because abuse is committed by a caregiver, there is often denial on the parts of both perpetrator and victim. The population most at risk for abuse are elderly women who reside with relatives and are physically dependent and perhaps mentally vulnerable. Causal factors in elder abuse involve pathological, environmental, and development frameworks. Relevant factors to be considered are retaliation, ageism and violence as a way of life, lack of close family ties, lack of financial resources, resentment of dependency, increased life expectancy, lack of community resources, stress, personal or mental problems, alcohol or drug abuse, and environmental conditions. A multi-faceted intervention approach would include crisis intervention, counseling, and alleviation of general family problems. Prevention is crucial; reversing societal violence, reducing family stress, eliminating individual isolation, alleviating inequalities of women and the elderly, and interrupting family histories of violence are recommended. Canadian legislation is necessary, stressing intervention, education, and protection. Research questions involving elder care decision, the antecedents and consequences of elder abuse, factors in elder mistreatment, and elder care resources are posed. 1 table, 18 references.
Main Term(s): Elder Abuse
Index Term(s): Canada; Domestic assault prevention; Domestic violence causes
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