Elder abuse is a concern for all practitioners who care for elderly patients. Here, quick reference to identify suspected elder abuse.
The elderly population is particularly susceptable to exploitation, violence, and mistreatment.1 A major public health issue, elder abuse consists of behaviors toward the elderly that are malignant and damaging. The tipsheet below is for quick reference to identify suspected elder abuse.
â Physical abuse (use of force resulting in pain, bruises, injury, or other impairment)
â Sexual abuse (non-consensual physical contact that is sexual in nature, rape, assault, exposure, nudity, etc)
â Emotional/psychological abuse (verbal and/or non-verbal aggression that results in distress of the victim)
Short-term memory impairment
Physical dependence, manifested by deficits in activities of daily living
Substance abuse (by patient or caregiver)
Poor social functioning
Recent bereavement, especially loss of partner
For more on this topic, please see "Elder Abuse," by Stephen L. Read, MD, from which this Tipsheet was adapted.
For more Tipsheets, please click here.
American Medical Association. Action of the AMA House of Delegates 2008 Annual Meeting: Report of the Council on Science and Public Health. http://www.ama-assn.org//resources/doc/csaph/a08-csaph7-ft.pdf. Accessed July 19, 2013.