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Elder Abuse (From Handbook of Psychological Approaches With Violent Offenders: Contemporary Strategies and Issues, P 373-393, 1999, Vincent B. Van Hasselt and Michel Hersen, eds. -- See NCJ-179662)

NCJ Number
Rosalie S. Wolf
Date Published
This chapter provides information on perpetrators of elder mistreatment and approaches to intervention.
A review of the historical background of the recognition of and response to the abuse and neglect of elderly persons notes that intervention in cases of neglected or abused older adults was first articulated as "protective services" by the American Public Welfare Association in 1953 and reaffirmed as a legitimate public welfare role in the enactment of the 1962 Public Welfare Amendments to the Social Security Act. Consideration of elder abuse in the framework of family violence was obvious, given its initial "discovery" during the congressional family violent hearings and the work of family violence researchers. Linking family violence closer to the criminal justice system has created other opportunities for elder abuse programs. The chapter section on the epidemiology of elder abuse addresses definitions, prevalence, incidence, theoretical explanations, risk factors and case profiles, and case examples. The section on intervention encompasses assessment, social services, and approaches to violent offenders. Attention is given to victim dependency and caregiver stress as well as abuser dependency and alcoholism. The chapter summary advises that one of the most hopeful signs in the campaign to broaden interest in and awareness of elder abuse and neglect is the development of coalitions that bring together representatives from the medical, mental health, legal, law enforcement, aging, financial, and religious organizations and battered women's shelters. 66 references