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A Global Response to Elder Abuse - page 138 / 149





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Workshop with social workers

A workshop was conducted with 18 so- cial workers from different settings, such as hospitals in Singapore and voluntary welfare organizations. e main purpose of the workshop lies in eliciting the social workers’ perceptions and views on the applicability of the SWEF in Singapore. Feedback included issues raised on the wording of the Evaluation Form, which was viewed as limiting and not providing ample space for the social worker or doctor doing the assessment to explore further.

  • e social workers expressed their reserva-

tions about the usefulness and the length of the Form and thus not being able to focus on assessing the depth of the abuse. For a crisis management or intervention situation such as elder abuse, it would be desirable to narrow down the questions and offer more emphasis to ask questions that analyse the seriousness, history and frequency of the abuse. Furthermore, the participants were unsure about the applicability of the Form to the Singapore context, bearing in mind that it was developed for a non-Asian setting. Questions need to be designed in a manner that takes into consideration the cultural sensitivities specific to the differ- ent contexts.


  • e social workers came to a consensus

that elder abuse should be viewed as having different categories and thus each category should be accorded equal importance. is can be done by devising a checklist with risk indicators for detection of each differ- ent type of abuse and that point towards therapy and intervention.

Workshop with social workers and PHC professionals

A workshop was organized with ten par- ticipants (general practitioners and social workers) to discuss the applicability and relevance of the PAHO manual from the participants’ occupational and contextual perspectives.

General practitioners and social workers noted that the definition of elder abuse in the PAHO manual is different from the definition provided by the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA). e latter defini- tion comprises seven categories of elder abuse, and sexual abuse stands as a distinct category. Abandonment, neglect and self- neglect are three distinct categories. Due to the multidimensional nature of elder abuse, both the doctors and social workers em- phasized the importance of adhering to one definition of elder abuse that is used widely, for example the NCEA definition.

Regarding the risk indicators, general prac- titioners and social workers stressed that a lot of decisions concerning an older person require the family’s consent and consulta- tion in Singapore. is could be attributed largely to the cultural context of Singapore, where familial values take precedence over

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