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Critical Social Work"The Elder Abuse Awareness Committee of Chatham Kent, Ontario employed ten seniors (65 years of age or older) from this rural community to conduct an investigation of the knowledge and prevalence of elder abuse among their peers. The 236 study participants interviewed by the specifically trained elders were predominantly female ranging in age from 55 to over 90. The majority were still living in their own homes, had completed high school or post-secondary education, and reported relatively good health. 

These attributes predicted a rate of disclosed elder abuse within the lower end of the four to ten percent range typically reported in the literature. However, an incidence rate of 19.1% was reported nearly double the upper end of the range, with 137 separate acts of verbal, emotional, and financial abuse reported by participants to their peers. Formal paid caregivers were identified as the most frequent perpetrators though two thirds of the incidents were not reported to anyone at the time they occurred primarily due to embarrassment, fear, being dependent upon the abuser, or simply not knowing who to tell about the abuse. In the minority of instances when the abuse was reported the most common sources informed were the police, a family physician, or a helping professional in the community."

Source: Critical Social Work, School of Social Work, Windsor University


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