Risk Factors For Elder Abuse In New Zealand

3755 Words 16 Pages
Elder abuse is the psychological, physical, financial or sexual mistreatment, of a person aged 65 years or more, as a result of an exploitation of trust between the victim of abuse and the perpetrator.1 This includes intentional or unintentional neglect.1 Risk factors for elder abuse include impaired cognitive function, social isolation and major life transitions such as widowhood.1 The act of abuse incorporates both the acts of commission and omission of care for the elderly, whether domestically, institutionally or self-inflicted.1 As a result of abuse and exploitation, the elderly lose their independence, health, life-savings and dignity, leading to increased dependency and sense of helplessness. There is also an associated increase in mortality.2 …show more content…
Following a comprehensive literature search, no population-based studies of elder abuse have been conducted in New Zealand.1 It is assumed that an estimated 5% of the older adult population have been subject to some forms of abuse.4 The 2013 census data estimates that between 12,700 and 21,700 people over the age of 65 may have experienced abuse in 2013.5 Age Concern New Zealand, the national coordinator and largest provider of the Elder Abuse and Neglect Prevention Services in New Zealand4, reported a daily average of 3.6 suspected cases, out of which an average of 1.9 cases were confirmed everyday between 1 July 2010 and 30 June 2012.6 (Figure 1) This, however, does not reflect the national prevalence of elder abuse, as cases are also reported through general practitioners (GPs), district health boards (DHBs), other social service agencies, the Health and Disability Commissioner, the New Zealand Police or the Financial Intelligence Unit, and the Health Quality & Safety Commission New Zealand.6 Little is known about the true extent of the issue, rendering it difficult to assess and monitor the effectiveness and efficiency of current prevention programmes and …show more content…
We believe that Age Concern should consider developing a smartphone application to provide information about elder abuse and its indicators, and up-to-date statistics on the current situation. The application can also incorporate synchronisation with the national reporting

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