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A Global Response to Elder Abuse - page 117 / 149

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PAGE 102

It does not advocate the provision for training and resources of health-care practitioners in elder abuse.

It assumes that a conflicting relation- ship with the family member/caregiver is evident, which is often not the case.

It assumes knowledge and history of the patient by a doctor, whereas people often see a range of doctors and visit hospital emergency wards.

ere is no mention of cultural differ- ences or needs for translators to be pres- ent.

Summary of report from Brazil

  • e first studies on elder abuse in Brazil

appeared in the late 1990s. In 1997, an investigation was carried out in four Brazilian states (Rio de Janeiro, Minas Gerais, São Paulo and Paraná), replicat- ing an Argentinian study on how older people (aged 60 years and older) view elder abuse. e results showed that the issue was mostly perceived and experienced as societal abuse and abandonment by the families (Machado et al., 1997). Later on, in 1998, surveys were carried out on elder mortality due to external causes (i.e. identi- fied victims of violence). In the state of Rio de Janeiro, for instance, among people aged 60 years and older, violence ranks sixth in the most common causes of mortal- ity, including traffic and transportation accidents for males and falls for females (Souza et al., 1998). Another study on elder morbidity due to violence was carried out in two emergency care hospitals in the city of Rio de Janeiro (Souza et al., 1999). In one month, of the 5151 cases reported, 384 involved people aged 60 years and older. Falls were the main cause for admission, representing some 60% of the total.

In Brazil, there is no published preva- lence study on elder abuse, even though data from some Brazilian adult protection services have confirmed the findings above, by verifying reports of complaints about public transportation, accidents and falls on streets, deaths from vehicles running people over and traffic accidents.

High rates of unemployment combined with high divorce rates make many adults return to their parents’ homes. Many be- come their parents’ caregivers and depend financially and emotionally on their older parents. e risk of older people being abused increases, especially when the older person is the only source of family income.

  • e government’s failure to provide proper

health care services for older people and the lack of social support for older people put a burden on many Brazilian families. As a consequence, women need to work to contribute to the family income but must also take care of dependent older parents.

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