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Elder abuse 

Elder abuse
Elder abuse

Peter Crome

, Amit Arora

, and Anmol Arora



There have been advances in the study of elder abuse in the past few years. References to novel literature since the original chapter was published has been added. Notably, there have been attempts to try to quantify the prevalence of elder abuse, especially in institutional settings. More links have been added to the ‘List of useful websites’ at the end of the chapter.

Discussion about the potential effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on elder abuse has been added, referencing literature published in 2020. This has been added to the Risk Factors section and describes the effect of the pandemic in relation to known risk factors, especially social isolation which could lead to a surge in elder abuse.

Recommendations from the United Nations (UN), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) in the UK have been added.

Brief mention of the Domestic Abuse Bill 2019–21, which at the time of writing has been voted through the House of Commons and is being debated in the House of Lords. In the UK, before a Bill can become an Act of Parliament it must be agreed upon by both the House of Commons and House of Lords, which are the two chambers that make up the UK Parliament. It has been noted that the UK continues to participate in the European Convention on Human Rights despite its exit from the European Union, which is mentioned in the ‘UK Laws Relevant to Elder Abuse’ section.

Discussion about the Gosport Independent Panel and Gosport War Memorial Hospital have been added in the context of major scandals prompting change to healthcare systems and legislation in the UK.

Brief discussion about elder abuse support systems and legislation in India has been added. India has legislation specifically targeted towards elder abuse in the ‘Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007’.

Updated on 15 August 2021. The previous version of this content can be found here.
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date: 19 May 2022

Elder abuse is still under-reported and under-recognized in many cases. This chapter discusses definitions of elder abuse and key issues related to this serious problem including barriers that prevent vulnerable older people seeking help. This chapter also examines the role of health professionals in early identification and management of elder abuse. It explores some of the indicators of elder abuse that can help non-clinicians identify older people at risk of harm. This chapter also describes the current procedure for management of elder abuse in England and some other countries and covers some information about laws relevant to elder abuse. Support services and non-governmental organizations are an important resource for helping victims of elder abuse and their role is described briefly in this chapter.

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