A GLOBAL RESPONSE TO ELDER ABUSE AND NEGLECT
Before applying such a questionnaire, it is crucial to determine whether the patient shows significant signs of cogni- tive deterioration.
ese questions should be asked only when the patient is seen alone.
It is becoming less likely that an older patient has a consistent and close rela- tionship with a physician who knows the patient well. e questions should there- fore be applied by a PHC professional over a few visits in order to establish a sufficient trusting relationship between the patient and the PHC professional.
In case elder abuse is suspected, it is es- sential to equip PHC professionals with follow-up mechanisms/referral strate- gies.
Further points mentioned were:
• Nurses could be important alternatives to physicians in applying such a ques- tionnaire.
A major challenge of the concept of such a tool arose in the focus group discussions. Some of the questions (e.g. Question 11) are somewhat ambiguous, as it is not clear whether a person was hurt accidentally or unintentionally. A caregiver may need training about ap- propriate lifting and handling an older person in order to prevent harm or injury occurring in future.
4 Recommendations and conclusions
roughout the execution of this project,
WHO and CIG embraced an interdisci- plinary and interagency approach with the objective of pursuing identification and prevention possibilities for elder abuse in the range of participating countries. e complexity of the research – tackling a highly sensitive topic at a global level and taking into account cultural differences
has shown that multiple steps are neces-
sary to develop appropriate elder abuse identification strategies in response to the call from the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing. In particular, it is cru- cial to include the views of the three main stakeholders: older people, medical doctors and social workers.
e conclusions from the focus group
and workshop discussions in the various countries corroborate the findings and recommendations from the EASI study in Montreal:
An instrument with 12 questions is too long, considering that in most of the participating countries the standard consultation time of a general practitio- ner is 10–15 minutes or less. A shorter instrument covering all key dimensions of elder abuse has a higher chance of be- ing accepted and applied by PHC profes- sionals.