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Abuse Intervention Model: A Pragmatic Approach to Intervention for Elder Mistreatment

NCJ Number
Journal of the American Geriatrics Society Volume: 64 Issue: 9 Dated: September 2016 Pages: 1879-1883
Date Published
September 2016
5 pages

This article presents a new model for examining the multidimensional and complex relationships between risk factors for the mistreatment of elderly persons.


Ten percent of older adults experience elder mistreatment, and it is much more common in older adults with dementia. It is associated with higher rates of psychological distress, hospitalization, and death. In the United States, elder mistreatment costs billions of dollars each year. Although elder mistreatment is relatively common and costly, it is estimated that fewer than 10 percent of instances of elder mistreatment are reported. Given these data, there is a need for research on interventions to mitigate elder mistreatment and for a practical model or framework to use in approaching such interventions. Although many theories have been proposed, adapted, and applied to understand elder mistreatment, there has not been a simple, coherent framework of known risk factors of the victim, perpetrator, and environment that applies to all types of abuse. The model presented in this article is based on theories of elder mistreatment, research on risk factors for elder mistreatment, and 10 years of experience of faculty and staff at an Elder Abuse Forensics Center who have investigated more than 1,000 cases of elder mistreatment. It is hoped that this model, the Abuse Intervention Model, will be used to study and intervene in elder mistreatment. (Publisher abstract modified)

Date Published: September 1, 2016