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Elder Abuse: How Much Occurs and How Do We Measure It? - Panel at the 2009 NIJ Conference

NCJ Number
Date Published
June 2009
5 pages
This is the audio and transcript of a panel presentation at the 2009 NIJ Conference that addressed the prevalence and measurement of elder abuse.
One presenter - Ron Acierno, associate professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the Medical University of South Carolina - has been involved in elder abuse research both through the National Institute of Justice and the National Institute on Aging. His presentation focuses on a prevalence and incidence study he conducted for NIJ. The study found that 1 in 10 cognitively competent adults living in a community experienced one of the typical types of mistreatment, i.e., physical, sexual, emotional, or neglectful. If financial abuse is taken into account, the number rises to 1 in 7. Low social support for the elderly victims was a common characteristic. Perpetrators of elder abuse had high rates of unemployment (more than twice the national average), and three to five times the national average for substance abuse. They tended to be isolated and have untreated mental health issues. Another presenter - Georgia Anetzberger, assistant professor, Health Care Administration Program at Cleveland State University - discusses the methodology and findings of Scierno's study. She notes that elder abuse has been conceived in such broad terms that no single intervention can address all aspects of elder abuse. Criminal prosecution is but one of many interventions that will be required to address elder abuse.

Date Published: June 1, 2009