A GLOBAL RESPONSE TO ELDER ABUSE AND NEGLECT
e participants considered the PAHO
manual to be too long but would use it if it were shorter and adjusted to the Brazilian context. As no guidelines are available, this manual could raise awareness among PHC professionals. ey concluded that a tool enabling PHC practitioners to identify elder abuse and neglect is extremely important, as it would allow a prompt counteracting intervention worldwide. However, due to the difficult situation of health profession-
als in Brazil – with the competencies of a family health practitioner different being from those of a primary care practitioner, and the short consultation time – they recommended two different versions of the protocol: one, comprising five questions, to raise the suspicion of abuse and a more comprehensive one to use as a follow-up tool.
Summary of report from Chile
Elder abuse in Chile is a social problem that occurs both in the domestic and the insti- tutional setting. e estimated prevalence rate is 30%.
Focus groups with older people
ere were two focus groups with older
people, both of which were conducted in the metropolitan region of Santiago.
e participants of both groups (group 1:
females only, average age 75 years; group 2: males and females, average age 70 years) had a lower middle socioeconomic back- ground.
e older people did not understand the
concept of commenting on the questions but shared their experiences regarding every item. It was emphasized that isola- tion increases the risk of being abused. Belonging to a seniors’ group is an impor- tant protective factor, not only to avoid iso-
lation but also to share advice and impor- tant information on older people’s rights.
Common forms of abuse are deprivation of food and the burden of child care. Older people are often obliged to look after their grandchildren. ey seldom try to defend themselves because they fear their children may institutionalize them. Children are of- ten the perpetrators in cases of elder abuse.
Focus groups with nurses
e focus groups with PHC professionals
consisted of 24 nurses from different ser- vices in the metropolitan region. Doctors were asked to join the discussions but were not willing to participate because of time constraints. In the Chilean context, nurses are the PHC professionals who receive older patients when they sign up at a surgery. Nurses are, therefore, the appropriate professional group to involve and address in Chile.