The Abuse Intervention Model: A Pragmatic Approach to Intervention for Elder Mistreatment

Source: National Adult Protective Services Association National Committee for the Prevention of Elder Abuse

Published: 2017


Laura Mosqueda, MD

Summary of Research
Ten percent of older adults experience elder mistreatment, and it is much more common in older adults with dementia. It is associated with higher rates of psychological distress, hospitalization, and death and, in the United States, costs billions of dollars each year. Although elder mistreatment is relatively common and costly, it is estimated that fewer than 10% of instances of elder mistreatment are reported. Given these data, there is a great need for research on interventions to prevent and mitigate elder mistreatment and for a practical model or framework to use in approaching such interventions. Although many theories have been proposed, adapted, and applied to understand elder mistreatment, there has not been a simple, coherent framework of known risk factors of the victim, perpetrator, and environment that applies to all types of abuse. This webinar presents a new model to examine the multidimensional and complex relationships between risk factors.
The Abuse Intervention Model (AIM) covers three domains related to elder mistreatment along with the risk factors in each. (1) Vulnerable older adult: Vulnerability, such as impaired physical function, poor cognition, or emotional distress/mental illness, places older adults at higher risk. (2) Trusted
other: Risk factors include perceived burden, impaired physical function, or emotional distress/mental illness. (3) Context in which older adult and trusted other interact plays an important role as well: low-quality relationship, social isolation, and cultural norms. Two case studies were presented, and risk factors of the three domains were identified.
Theories of elder mistreatment, research on risk factors for elder mistreatment, and 10 years of experience of faculty and staff at an Elder Abuse Forensics Center who have investigated more than 1,000 cases of elder mistreatment inform this model. It is hoped that the Abuse Intervention Model will be used to study and intervene in elder mistreatment.

Research Brief:

Webinar Video:

Link: The Abuse Intervention Model: A Pragmatic Approach to Intervention for Elder Mistreatment

Topics: Multidisciplinary Teams, Prevention/Intervention, Screening/Assessment

Access: Download, Web-based

Intended Use: Self-directed Learning, Teaching Others

Audience: Health Care

Level: Advanced, Intermediate