Elder Abuse pp 215-228 | Cite as

A Multidisciplinary Approach to the Clinical Management of Elder Mistreatment

  • Nora OBrien-Suric
  • Avital Benson
  • XinQi Dong
  • Terry FulmerEmail author


Elder mistreatment is associated with increased risk for morbidity and mortality especially among those with greater levels of vulnerability, cognitive impairment, physical disability, psychological distress, and social isolation (Dong and Simon in CGS J CME 3(1): 25–28, 2013; O’Brien in Mich Med 85(11): 618–620, 1986). Moreover, elder mistreatment predicts increased rates of emergency department use, hospitalizations, readmissions, skilled nursing placement, and hospice utilization. This chapter provides the clinician with useful information on the action steps necessary for detection, assessment, planning, intervention, and follow-up for older adults who may be victims of abuse or neglect. This chapter also emphasizes the importance of an interdisciplinary team approach. The treatment of elder mistreatment requires clinicians to collaborate with other professionals by working in teams to provide an important strategy for elder mistreatment detection and intervention (Anetzberger in Clin Gerontol 28(1–2): 27–41, 2005). Working in teams will benefit the mistreatment detection and intervention process in three ways: (1) Offer a more holistic perspective to the situation of elder mistreatment than could be offered by a single discipline; (2) Assure that no single discipline has sole responsibility for handling complex and challenging situations; and (3) Forge relationships among professionals that transcend consideration of individual cases and promote a community-wide approach to elder mistreatment prevention and treatment (Anetzberger 2005). This chapter discusses the unique roles for physicians, nurses, and social workers, as well as Adult Protective Services. However, clinicians should also consider the expertise of other professionals in health care, community-based organizations, legal services, etc., as necessary for the unique situation of the older patient and his/her caregiver.


Elder mistreatment Assessment Clinical interventions Evaluation of care plan Person-centered Adult protective services 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nora OBrien-Suric
    • 1
  • Avital Benson
    • 1
  • XinQi Dong
    • 2
  • Terry Fulmer
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.The John A. Hartford FoundationNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.Rush Institute for Healthy AgingRush University Medical CenterChicagoUSA

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