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Training for Physicians on Elder Abuse

The mortality rate for elderly victims of crime is triple that of other older people. Because the elderly visit their doctors more frequently than the general population, physicians are well positioned to intervene on behalf of elderly victims. However, little is taught about elder abuse in medical schools, despite a number of well-recognized risk factors.

To address this inequity, OVC funded the Baylor College of Medicine to develop a curriculum for academic physicians and other health professionals that focuses on the risk factors and indicators of elder abuse, appropriate intervention strategies, reporting and documenting requirements, and cooperation with law enforcement. The grantee has conducted a number of pilot tests, targeting health care professionals in geriatrics, family practice, emergency medicine, surgery, and general internal medicine. The curriculum is currently being reviewed by OVC.

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