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Elder Abuse

Mustafa, Nageen; Kingston, Paul; Pachana, Nancy A.; Laidlaw, Ken


Paul Kingston

Nancy A. Pachana

Ken Laidlaw


The world has an ageing population, and the number of people aged 60 years or above is expected to rapidly increase over the next decade. Elder abuse is prevalent across the globe and exists in both developed and developing countries. It has emerged as a serious social problem only in the last twenty years, although historical references can be found for centuries. The phenomenon is underreported and sometimes difficult to establish. There are various definitions of elder abuse, some of which will be discussed in this chapter. The context in which elder abuse occurs and the implications of this concept in relation to current Human Rights legislation is addressed. The risk factors for being abused include memory problems, physical disabilities, depression, loneliness or lack of social support, alcohol and abuse of substances, and being verbally or physically combative with a care-giver. Intervention studies aimed at preventing elder abuse have reported various outcomes. Alarmingly, elder abuse is suspected to be a major source of morbidity and mortality in older people.

Online Publication Date Jan 6, 2015
Publication Date Oct 1, 2014
Deposit Date Jun 5, 2023
Publisher Oxford University Press
Pages 571–583
Edition 1
Book Title The Oxford Handbook of Geropsychology
Chapter Number 27
ISBN 9780191750892