Workshops with social workers
Nine social workers from PHC centres in San José participated in this workshop to evaluate the SWEF and to discuss training and assessment strategies in their work- places.
Prevailing political and institutional poli- cies do not cover and protect older people. Current economic and social conditions affect them – as a highly vulnerable group
directly. ere is a lack of resources and
also of supportive networks in the com- munity to tackle the problem of elder abuse. Some institutions and associations carry out very valuable but isolated efforts, centred around the greater metropolitan area. A significant proportion of the older population living in rural settings does not have access to any counselling services.
Regarding the Form, the participants felt that the questions are excellent but the questionnaire as a whole is too extensive. Awareness regarding the issue already ex- ists among the participants, but the very limited number of social workers impedes appropriate follow-up action or interven- tion. Also, coordination between the differ- ent institutions dealing with elder abuse is insufficient.
A GLOBAL RESPONSE TO ELDER ABUSE AND NEGLECT
Workshop with social workers and doctors
e PAHO workshop group comprised nine
women and one man, all coming from an urban setting.
None of the workshop participants has re- ceived any kind of training. It is, therefore, underlined that there is a need to organize workshops to sensitize not only profession- als working in the field but also the com- munity. e majority of participants do not have access to protocols on the evalu- ation of elder abuse and the physical and psychosocial needs of older people. Some institutions offer manuals with guidelines on intrafamilial violence, but a specific manual on elder abuse is not available. e lack of an appropriate legal framework is evident and makes intervention difficult. An important step would be to offer train- ing facilities for professionals and also to inform older people about their rights. e creation of a network of supportive services is indispensable.
e PAHO manual is a complete sum-
mary of concepts already known and is understood as valuable support to increase awareness of elder abuse.