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A Global Response to Elder Abuse - page 145 / 149





145 / 149

PAGE 130

coordination between social workers and other professionals working in the same institution. Interprofessional coordination was considered to be the key to interven- tion, which was often too slow and acceler- ated only if the case of abuse was related to gender-based violence. Some social workers went only once a week to a health centre to exchange information and coordination and ultimately to strengthen the teamwork between the different professional groups dealing with elder abuse. e creation of a round table for older people could offer an important platform for the different stake- holders together to share experiences, dis- seminate information and offer solutions.

  • e application of the SWEF was consid-

ered inappropriate in the Spanish context because of its length. e average consulta- tion time a social worker had with a cli- ent was 40 minutes. e participants also believed that it was rather difficult for an older person to focus on answering ques- tions during approximately 66 minutes. A possible solution could be to administer the Form during several sessions instead of only one session. Apart from the time issue, there were also linguistic problems with the Form, as the literal translation from English into Spanish (e.g. of the term “sponsorship”) caused confusion. Some sections were thought to be unclear, such as that on housing (e.g. together putting housing types and characteristics). Two aspects that were not taken into account adequately were (i) the important role of informal networks of older people who

did not have a family and (ii) the impact of disputes or problems between the older person and his or her relatives throughout the older person’s life. It was criticized further that the Form could raise the hopes of older people, which ultimately could not be met since it asked about issues that were not under the competence of a social worker. In general, the Form was thought to be too direct and negative. In Spain, ques- tionnaires tackling such a sensitive issue used more indirect questions. For example, asking older people whether there were any problems in their relationship with their children was a question that could not be asked. A questionnaire with this type of question should be administered by nurses, as they have more regular contact with patients. e best place where the interview could be conducted was not necessarily the older person’s home but rather the health centre or a neutral environment.

It was stressed by the participants, however, that the mere existence of such a Form was positive, as a similar assessment tool did not exist. e Form could serve as a basis for more appropriate evaluation techniques in the Spanish context. e administration of such a form by social workers would also assign them with a role they currently do not have in the assessment of elder abuse in PHC settings.

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