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A Global Response to Elder Abuse - page 105 / 149





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Question 4: ere was general agreement that this question was important, espe- cially when considered in the context of the whole set of questions. However, partici- pants identified a number of problems with the wording of the question. It was too long and came across as convoluted, principally because the list of examples given is too ex- tensive. General practitioners could choose from the list of examples those that they thought most appropriate. For instance, a general practitioner would not ask about a hearing aid if it was clear that the person did not need one.

  • e phrase “needed things” sounded

clumsy and should be changed to “things you need”. Although it was understood that the idea of being “prevented” from doing something was an important indicator of possible abuse, some suggested that it was likely to be very confronting and there may be other ways of encouraging people to open up. e question could be introduced by saying “I'm going to ask you just a few questions about the things you need, such as your food and any medicines you need, your clothing and living space”, followed by “Is it easy for you to get all you need in the way of food and medication and so on? Has anyone ever denied you these things?”

A number of suggestions for rewording were made to overcome some of the prob- lems mentioned:

“Has anyone prevented you from having es- sentials necessary to your well-being?”

“If you needed .../when you need ..., has anyone ever stopped you from getting them?”

It was thought that the second part of the question was important but could be asked more simply, e.g. “Does this happen of- ten?” e question could then be followed up with further questions that encourage people to “tell their own story”.

Question 5: e participants’ experience was that psychological abuse, intimida- tion, verbal abuse and bullying, which the question included, often had a profound effect on older people and potentially were very demeaning. Such abuse was difficult to prove, as it could be denied easily, especial- ly if the older person had dementia.

Most thought the question was too wordy and included too many ideas. Some sug- gested alternatives were:

“How do you get on with your family or the person/people who care for you?” (followed by more specific questions, depending on the response).

“Have you ever been intimidated by the people who are close to you/your family/the person who cares for you?”

Question 6: Participants thought that the ideas embedded in this question were very important for detecting elder abuse.

  • ere was consensus that the wording

was relatively clear, and all the ideas in the question were important. However, they also thought that there were at least three separate ideas in the question – being taken advantage of, being prevented from

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