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A Global Response to Elder Abuse - page 133 / 149





133 / 149

PAGE 118

people in the total population compared with the number of children also makes the issue not recognized as such. e con- sensus is that elder abuse is a problem in Kenya, but society is focused more on abuse of children and women and hence the abus- es to which older people are subjected go forgotten. Both professional groups believe that the lack of awareness by policy-makers is the main cause of this situation.

  • e majority of the participants have

encountered abused patients but reacted differently. Doctors feel powerless. Even though sometimes doctors refer patients

at risk of being abused to social workers, in general they do little. Social workers either interview the abused person and/or look for the available and proper social support system. For both professional groups, there are neither intervention protocols nor fol- low-up strategies available at the institution at which they work. erefore, there is a strong feeling that the content and issues in the PAHO manual are appropriate and that the manual can be readily used.

Summary of report from Singapore

Due to historical lack of discussion and un- derstanding of elder abuse in Singapore, the term “elder abuse” has a negative connota- tion in Singapore and elicits such fear and anxiety even among health-care profession- als that there may be a need to look for a replacement term. As Singapore ages, the government has become increasingly con- cerned that more cases of elder abuse and neglect may surface and a need for com- mon definitions, systems and programmes have to be put in place to address it. us, in September 2003, a multidisciplinary team comprising professionals with knowl- edge in geriatrics, psychiatry, psychology, gero-counselling and social work was established to manage elder abuse cases.

In adopting the WHO-CIG study in Singapore, the country coordinator had to modify some aspects of this study to suit the local context. e following changes were made:

  • • 

    e questions were translated into Mandarin, as the majority of Singaporeans are Chinese and the majority of the current cohorts of older people in Singapore speak Mandarin and its dialects rather than English.

  • In Singapore, an older person is defined as a person aged 60 years and over. e national definition currently stands at age 65 years, but in practice age 60 years is used by frail care programmes. e coordinator therefore followed such a definition.

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