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24 Elder abuse
  1. Minna-Liisa Luoma
  1. National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL)


In many parts of the world elder abuse occurs with little recognition and is still considered mostly a private matter. Even today, elder abuse continues to be a taboo and mostly underestimated. This presentation will discuss the prevalence of abuse of older people as well as methods, instruments that are used in studies. Research about where, when and how often elder abuse occurs, is inadequate and inconsistent. Data in some cases are based on professionals’ reports rather than on information from older people themselves. Some EU countries have a rich history of prevalence research, whereas other countries have just begun to tackle this aspect of research on of elder abuse. Surveying elders about such a sensitive topic, however, implies the need for an adequate research instrument (questionnaire) and research design, and an adapted data collection method. Substantial attention has to be paid to outlining possible guidelines for future research. Information on elder abuse helps health and social services to identify and deal with the problem. Without awareness raising and approaches to define, detect and address elder abuse this important wellbeing and health issue of elderly population will continue to be underestimated and overlooked.

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