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A Global Response to Elder Abuse - page 126 / 149





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  • e question should be simplified. e

term “adequate living space” is not under- stood well. Moreover, the question should be shortened by abolishing “health aids such as eyeglasses and hearing aids”; “food, medication and clothing” are essential ele- ments.

Question 5: is question was regarded as very useful for detecting psychological and verbal abuse, which, according to the par- ticipants, happens often in the family set- ting. In addition, all kinds of discrimination by institutions, authorities and individuals (e.g. older people being humiliated or not being helped when using public transport) fall into this category.

Question 9: is question is important in the context of Costa Rica, as alcohol de- pendence is a widespread issue in all social classes. Drug abuse could also be included in this question. e participants associat- ed the issue with physical and verbal abuse.

  • ey felt that the question was well formu-

lated and comprehensible and the wording was appropriate.

Overall, the participants thought that the questions were useful for the suspicion of elder abuse.

  • ey concluded that a good and stable

family relationship was fundamental in the prevention of loneliness and isolation. However, the majority of the participants preferred living alone, as abuse happens more frequently when sharing living space with their children.


Focus groups with doctors

Four focus group discussions with general practitioners were held, comprising 26 participants (14 females, 12 males) working in urban and suburban settings.

  • e doctors would include Questions 11,

5, 8, 12 and 4 (in order of relevance) in an instrument with five questions.

Question 4: is question is considered to be very long and to contain too many different elements. An important indicator of abuse is if the older person is prevented from doing something. However, if the chil- dren do not have the means or resources to satisfy the necessities of the older parent(s), then this should not be interpreted as abuse. e question can, therefore, be con- fusing and should be more precise.

Question 5: is question is indispensable for the detection of abuse. e part “Has anyone close to you unfairly yelled at you, or talked to you in ways that you did not like?” already covers psychological abuse; the other elements of the question are less relevant. e final part of the question (“in a way that left you upset for a long time”) can be omitted because if abuse takes place, then it does not matter whether the victim was upset for a long or a short period.

Question 8: Although this question is con- sidered long and complicated, it is well out- lined and covers not only the relevant areas of material but also the area of spousal abuse. e time horizon should be speci- fied: Is the question referring to the imme- diate present or to the past? A part asking about the relationship with the perpetrator should be added.

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