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NCJ Number: 92588 Find in a Library
Title: Domestic Neglect and Abuse of the Elderly - Research Findings and a Systems Perspective for Service Delivery Planning (From Abuse and Maltreatment of the Elderly, P 115-133, 1983, Jordan I Kosberg, ed. - See NCJ-91500)
Author(s): R L Douglass; T Hickey
Date Published: 1983
Page Count: 19
Sponsoring Agency: John Wright, PSG Inc
Littleton, MA 01460
Sale Source: John Wright, PSG Inc
545 Great Road
Littleton, MA 01460
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This paper reviews research conducted in the past decade regarding causes of neglect and abuse of the elderly and then offers a systems analysis on how to develop a service system that responds to this population.
Abstract: The research assessment is based on three case studies, two mail surveys of professionals and practitioners, and one study combining personal interviews of practitioners and professionals with a secondary data analysis. These projects verified that a problem of unknown proportion exists and identified the population at risk for domestic abuse or neglect as those elderly who are most dependent on others because of advanced age, frailty, chronic disease, or physical or mental impairment. These at-risk individuals generally are less conscious of alternative living arrangements or means of support than others in their age cohort and are more likely to be aged women than men. Episodes of abuse or neglect usually are not isolated, but tend to continue and increase as the dependent individual ages unless some intervention changes the family's circumstances. Researchers have found no racial, socioeconomic, or other social indicators to identify higher at-risk population segments. Definitions of maltreatment vary in these studies and must be clarified for subsequent studies. Different components of the delivery system viewed the causes of neglect differently. For example, emergency room staff seldom saw the medical consequences of neglect and abuse within the family context, but often considered victims to be partly responsible for their maltreatment. In contrast, police officers saw abusive treatment of the elderly as closely related to other family problems. These findings suggest that coordination and cross-interpretation of theory and practice are critical to an effective service delivery system. Initial objectives of an emergency system include measuring the extent of the problem, testing alternative means of case finding, developing intervention and reporting procedures, and identifying appropriate prevention services. Diagrams, tables, and over 20 references are supplied.
Index Term(s): Elder Abuse; Literature reviews
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