A Global Response to Elder Abuse and Neglect
Building Primary Health Care Capacity to Deal with the Problem Worldwide
Until very recently, elder abuse was a social problem hidden from public view and mostly regarded as a private matter. Evidence is accumulating, however, to indicate that elder abuse, which includes the pervasive issue of neglect, is an important public health and societal problem that manifests itself in both developing and developed countries. From a health and social perspective, unless the primary health care and social services sectors are well equipped to identify and deal with the problem, elder abuse will continue to be underdiagnosed and overlooked.
WHO Ageing and Life Course Programme and the Center for Interdisciplinary Gerontology at the University of Geneva, with partners from all continents, conducted this study in order to develop a strategy to prevent elder abuse within the primary health care context.
The study consisted of a qualitative research project in eight participating countries focused on testing questions originally devised by researchers in Montreal. These questions were aimed at raising awareness among health professionals of the issue of elder abuse.