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Elder Physical Abuse and the Family

  • By: Alice Campbell Reay
  • In: Encyclopedia of Family Health
  • Edited by: Martha Craft-Rosenberg & Shelley-Rae Pehler
  • Subject:Family Health, Family Policy, Family Law

Physical abuse of older adults in the family is becoming an area of increasing concern and has been the focus of a recent chapter in the World Health Organization's World Report on Violence in Health. This report highlighted the fact that elder physical abuse (along with other types of elder abuse) is the concern of many nations. There is now general agreement that physical abuse in older adults is defined as hitting, slapping, pushing, kicking, burning, locking an older person in a room, inappropriate use of medication and restraint, and other physical acts with the intention of causing physical pain or injury. Unfortunately, practitioners working with physical and other types of abuse are still unsure when it is occurring, how to intervene, and how to ...

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