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A Global Response to Elder Abuse - page 141 / 149





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PAGE 126

need of further specification. Questions 3 and 5 caused some confusion.

Question 1: is question was felt to be comprehensible but nevertheless ambiva- lent. Some participants thought they were being asked whether they provided help to somebody, some participants thought the focus was on receiving any kind of help, and some participants thought the question was enquiring about help, such as home help, offered to them from a public institution.

  • e list of items was considered a good

summary of older people’s basic needs; “going to the doctor” could be added. It was pointed out, however, that basic and sec- ondary needs were combined in the ques- tion. e item could, therefore, be divided into two shorter questions.

Question 2: e wording of this question was understood well, but the meaning of the second part of the question “Has this happened more than once?” needed further clarification, as some participants thought that one or two occurrences of this type of prevention could not be regarded as abuse. To simplify the wording, the term “pre- vented” could be replaced with “denied”.

  • ere was no redundancy in the question,

but some participants considered the ques- tion too long and suggested dividing it into several questions.

Question 3: e participants agreed that this question tackled a particularly sensi- tive issue. Some mentioned that they had felt these feelings (threatened and shamed) not only in the past 12 months but also throughout their lives. Furthermore, it was

stressed that there was a significant differ- ence between feeling “threatened” and feel- ing “shamed”. e term “shame” seemed to signify a feeling of being embarrassed and should not automatically be connoted with abuse. It might be more accurate to replace “shamed” with “humiliated”. A threat can be imposed on a person without previous actions and points more clearly to abuse. Once again, the question could be divided in order to ask separately about these two different issues. An important issue that could be included in this question is infan- tilization.

Question 4: is question was regarded as being very clear, addressing a frequent type of abuse. e word “force” was felt to be very strong and could be replaced with “manipulate”.

Question 5: e participants were unclear whether this question referred to physi- cal or sexual abuse. e word “touched” was not necessarily associated with sexual abuse. Both issues were very delicate and taboo for individuals over the age of 65 years. Nevertheless, a clear separation between these two types of abuse could help to elicit more accurate responses. It was stressed that an honest answer to this question would depend very much on the level of confidence between the doctor and the patient and on the doctor’s ability to ask the question in a sensitive way.

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