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A GLOBAL RESPONSE TO ELDER ABUSE AND NEGLECT

2 The project

2.1 Aims and objectives

Based on the recommended strategies outlined in the “Missing voices” study, the WHO-CIG programme objectives were:

  • To develop and validate a reliable in- strument applicable in different geo- graphical and cultural contexts in order to increase awareness among the PHC professionals to the problem of elder abuse and neglect.

  • To build the capacity of PHC workers to deal with elder abuse and neglect through evidence based education for the development of prevention strate- gies.

Following the initiation of the project in January 2004, a meeting was held between the project coordinators, the scientific steering committee and members from af- filiated organizations. e following recom- mendations for the study were made:

Although elder abuse is a universal phe- nomenon that appears in similar forms regardless of its geographical and socioeco- nomic context, the appropriate responses may vary, depending for instance on local beliefs and values, availability of resources and legal frameworks. However, although the roots of abuse may be very different between societies, cultural norms should not be used as an excuse for mistreatment to occur or to be ignored.

When testing an instrument to detect potential abuse cases, it is crucial to es- tablish basic response mechanisms, other- wise many PHC professionals will remain reluctant to deal with the issue. In addition, standardized training modules that focus on the detection, prevention and manage- ment of elder abuse, taking into consider- ation already existing models, need to be developed.

  • e “perfect” tool does not exist.

Depending on a person’s professional back- ground, either an anecdotal or an evidence- based approach is preferred. A balance needs to be found between a scientifically validated and simple tool that is suitable for use by a wide range of PHC professionals and that is also comprehensible by older people. Simplicity is the key to success in

8.

CAGE stands for ‘Cut Down, Annoyed, Guilty and Eye Opener’.

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