Elder Abuse/Neglect

Full-Text Friday: What Is “Elder Abuse”? Voices From the Margin

So I received an email from one of my many Canadian readers asking for a little Canada love in choosing the next full-text offering. She said it’s helpful for Canadian readers to be exposed to the breadth of quality research being done in their country, and I am totally on board with that. However, don’t go away US (and other country) readers–this research has plenty of relevance outside of Canada. We’ll be focusing on elder abuse for today’s article–click through to get all the details.

Citation: J Elder Abuse Negl. 2013;25(5):396-424. What is “elder abuse”? Voices from the margin: the views of underrepresented Canadian older adults. Ploeg J, Lohfeld L, Walsh CA.

Why this article? Because it looks at how elder abuse is defined in populations traditionally under-represented in scientific research, including Aboriginal, immigrant, refugee and lesbian populations. Understanding the wide range of how individuals experience abuse and violence allows clinicians to provide more holistic, trauma-informed care {Additionally: one of the key things we must remember in applying the science to our work is that not all research may be generalizeable to *our* patient populations, because the populations we serve may not be represented in the study sample. Many studies exclude marginalized populations such as the ones listed above.}

Key quote: Some groups also pointed to the existence of types of elder abuse not so commonly discussed in the literature, such as systemic or government abuse, spiritual abuse, and complex abuse or situations consisting of several types of mistreatment and/or neglect experienced concurrently. (p. 415)