U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

Commentaries on Preaching to the Unconverted: Educating Physicians About Elder Abuse

NCJ Number
Journal of Elder Abuse & Neglect Volume: 7 Issue: 4 Dated: 1995 Pages: 13-27
G J Anetzberger; L A Baumhover; M F Hudson; J G O'Brien; D E Rosenblatt
Date Published
15 pages
Commentaries are offered on the importance of educating physicians about elder abuse, based on an earlier article that advocates the concept of the "geriatric syndrome" as a useful framework for physicians to systematically evaluate suspected elder abuse and neglect.
The first commentary indicates that, if elder abuse is to reach the variety of professionals necessary to effectively identify, prevent, and treat the problem, it must be open to multiple approaches for increasing professional awareness and understanding. In a period of enhanced sensitivity to cultural diversity, the uniqueness of different professional cultures that exist in elder care must be recognized, as well as the importance of tailoring training and education along with language in ways that render subjects acceptable and comprehensible to each individual profession. The second commentary agrees that physicians need to be responsive to elder mistreatment, that elder mistreatment must be considered as a more generalized problem rather than as a specific disease, and that elder mistreatment must be mainstreamed in medical education. The third commentary indicates that all health care and social service professionals need to be educated about elder mistreatment, that ageism and paternalism need to be reduced or eliminated, and that physicians need to identify ways in which members of the medical profession have and are mistreating elderly persons by directly or indirectly contributing to elder mistreatment. The fourth commentary discusses reasons why physicians have kept a relatively low profile with respect to elder abuse, lack of support by the medical and academic community for those involved in the study of violence, and the detection and management of elder abuse. The final commentary focuses on obstacles to physician diagnosis and management of family violence and elder abuse, the need for collaboration between the medical disciplines, and the need for quality research on elder abuse and physician involvement. 18 references


No download available