Elder Abuse in Informal Care Settings: Literature review of prevalence and best practices for prevention




Hoffman, Alexander

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As the population of elderly in Canada outpaces youth, the number of seniors choosing to remain at home is increasing, and a growing number rely on care from family or acquaintances rather than professionals. These individuals comprise a group which is understudied, and which may be vulnerable to increased instances of elder abuse; research indicates these cycles are cyclical and intergenerational. In order to provide an illustration of complex issues facing vulnerable older Canadians living at home, we attempt to identify the specific needs of these elders. This study examines: information and knowledge gaps in Canadian reports, legal definitions across provinces and territories, current American and Canadian research on prevalence, cultural factors, emerging social theories of prevention, best practices for prevention, and future uses for data from the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging (CLSA). We conclude that the current legislation and response models do not meet the needs of Canadian elders in informal care situations, aid resources in British Columbia would benefit from implementing a multidisciplinary model for response efforts, and that CLSA data represents a promising resource for prevalence and correlative studies.



seniors at home, informal care, older Canadians, Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging, elder abuse