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To recognize the patterns of geriatric abuse that exist
To learn how to screen and identify geriatric abuse
To learn to treat and refer victims of geriatric abuse
Introduction and overview
Elder abuse and neglect has been recognized as a growing problem in the United States. All 50 states have reporting requirements for elder abuse and neglect, although there is no federal policy requiring reporting of elder abuse. Literature suggests that the abusers appear most frequently to be family members and caretakers of the elderly. The responsibility for identifying elder mistreatment often falls on emergency care providers.
There are 45 million people over the age of 60 in the United States, and 3 million over the age of 85. Those over 85 represent the fastest growing segment of the elderly population; it is estimated that the number of persons over the age of 85 will be seven times higher in 2050 than it was in 1980.
Modern reports of elder abuse in the medical literature date from 1975 when the British Medical Journal published a report of “granny battering.” In the United States, reports of abuse and neglect in nursing homes in the 1970s led to a systematic study of elder mistreatment by the United States Senate Special Committee on Aging. Since that time, under the auspices of the Department of Health and Human Services, there has been the creation of the National Institute on Elder Abuse.
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