The increasing maturation of our population and the economic hardships in our nation have forced numerous elders to become dependent upon family members for survival. The tremendous strain of providing care for a dependent elder along with societal demands has caused the problem of elder abuse to flourish. Frequently, emergency rooms and intensive care units are the primary points of entry for the elderly victim of abuse. It is within these settings that abuse is detected initially and in which successful intervention should begin. In this article, the author presents a review of the basic theories that have been proposed to explain why abuse occurs. This is followed by a detailed description of the common characteristics of both the abuser and the abused. The article is concluded by an overview of the medical personnel’s responsibilities for reporting cases of suspected abuse

This content is only available as a PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.