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NCJ Number: 222638 Find in a Library
Title: Epidemiology of Violence Against the Elderly: Implications for Primary and Secondary Prevention
Journal: Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice  Volume:24  Issue:2  Dated:May 2008  Pages:186-197
Author(s): Ronet Bachman; Michelle L. Meloy
Date Published: May 2008
Page Count: 12
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article examines the extant literature and crime data on elderly victimization.
Abstract: Findings suggest that both male and female elders experience unique vulnerabilities to victimization that are unlike any other time in the life course, despite their decreased rates of victimization. Often, the data illustrates the deleterious consequences that victimization has for the elderly and the urgent need for primary and secondary prevention. To prevent predatory victimization against the elderly, policy should concentrate on placing guardianship where none exists through initiatives such as neighborhood watches, transportation and home security assistance, and block clubs. One innovative effort called the Triad program couples local police and sheriffs' departments with senior citizens to prevent victimization in their community. Murders and assaults against the elderly committed by other family members are likely within the context of a caregiving situation for an elderly parent or relative. Policies aimed at alleviating the stress of such situations and providing respite services to caregivers are extremely important because violence against the elderly has such severe physical consequences in terms of increased risk of injury, requiring medical care, nursing home placement, and injuries resulting in death. Secondary prevention efforts following nonfatal victimizations against the elderly are extremely important. This is true as much for physical injuries as it is for the emotional trauma that undoubtedly accompanies such brutality. Health care providers need to be educated on how to aggressively respond to the needs of elderly victims of crime to prevent any spiral decline of health for elders. Prevention strategies for reducing staff-to-resident victimization at nursing homes entail extensive staff training, staff employment screening, incorporation of abuse prevention policies and reporting procedures, implementation of measures to decrease staff attrition, decrease of staff stress-levels, and decrease of staff burn out. Tables, references
Main Term(s): Crimes against the elderly; Elderly victims
Index Term(s): Community crime prevention programs; Crime prevention measures; Crime prevention planning; Elderly victim services; Research uses in policymaking; Violence prevention
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