0
We're unable to sign you in at this time. Please try again in a few minutes.
Retry
We were able to sign you in, but your subscription(s) could not be found. Please try again in a few minutes.
Retry
There may be a problem with your account. Please contact the AMA Service Center to resolve this issue.
Contact the AMA Service Center:
Telephone: 1 (800) 262-2350 or 1 (312) 670-7827  *   Email: subscriptions@jamanetwork.com
Error Message ......
JAMA Patient Page |

Elder Abuse FREE

Carolyn J. Hildreth, MD, Writer; Alison E. Burke, MA, Illustrator; Richard M. Glass, MD, Editor
JAMA. 2009;302(5):588. doi:10.1001/jama.302.5.588.
Text Size: A A A
Published online

Elder abuse, also referred to as elder mistreatment, is any abuse or neglect of a person aged 60 or older by a caregiver or another person in a relationship involving an expectation of trust that threatens his or her health or safety. It is difficult to determine the prevalence of elder abuse because many times cases are not reported. A 2003 National Research Council report estimated that there are between 1 million and 2 million cases of elder abuse and neglect in the United States every year. Family members, adult children, or spouses are implicated in 90% of the cases of elder abuse. Those affected are usually elderly people who are cognitively or physically frail, depressed, lonely, or lacking social support. The August 5, 2009, issue of JAMA is a theme issue on violence and human rights that includes an article reporting that both elder abuse and self-neglect in a community-dwelling population are associated with an increased risk of death.

TYPES OF ELDER ABUSE

  • Physical abuse such as the infliction of pain or injury,including physical or drug-induced restraint

  • Sexual abuse, including any nonconsensual sexual contact

  • Emotional abuse, including infliction of any mental anguish

  • Caregiver neglect—refusal or failure to fulfill caregiver obligations to meet basic needs, including food, clothing, housing, and medical care

  • Financial exploitation, including any unauthorized orimproper use of the funds or resources of an elderly person

RISK FACTORS FOR ELDER ABUSE

  • Elders with memory problems (such as dementia) or who are physically dependent on others

  • Elders with depression, loneliness, or lack of social support

  • Caregiver stress when the caregiver feels overwhelmed with the care of the elder

  • Caregiver has history of substance abuse or history of abusing others

  • Caregiver has high emotional or financial dependence on the elder

PREVENTION OF ELDER ABUSE

  • Intervene if you suspect elder abuse—in the United States, call the elder care help line at 1-800-677-1116.

  • Listen to elders and their caregivers.

  • Get help from family, friends, or local support groups.

  • Seek counseling or other support if you are feeling stressed or depressed.

  • Get help if you have substance abuse problems.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

INFORM YOURSELF

To find this and other JAMA Patient Pages, go to the Patient Page link on JAMA's Web site at http://www.jama.com. Many are available in English and Spanish.

Sources: National Center on Elder Abuse, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, World Health Organization

The JAMA Patient Page is a public service of JAMA. The information and recommendations appearing on this page are appropriate in most instances, but they are not a substitute for medical diagnosis. For specific information concerning your personal medical condition, JAMA suggests that you consult your physician. This page may be photocopied noncommercially by physicians and other health care professionals to share with patients. To purchase bulk reprints, call 312/464-0776.

TOPIC: ELDER ABUSE

Tables

References

Letters

CME
Meets CME requirements for:
Browse CME for all U.S. States
Accreditation Information
The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
Note: You must get at least of the answers correct to pass this quiz.
You have not filled in all the answers to complete this quiz
The following questions were not answered:
Sorry, you have unsuccessfully completed this CME quiz with a score of
The following questions were not answered correctly:
Commitment to Change (optional):
Indicate what change(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.
Your quiz results:
The filled radio buttons indicate your responses. The preferred responses are highlighted
For CME Course: A Proposed Model for Initial Assessment and Management of Acute Heart Failure Syndromes
Indicate what changes(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.

Multimedia

Spanish Patient Pages
Supplemental Content

Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging & repositioning the boxes below.

Articles Related By Topic
Related Collections
PubMed Articles