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Can J Psychiatry. 1994 Oct;39(8 Suppl 1):S34-40.

An update on elder abuse and neglect.

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  • 1Division of Geriatric Psychiatry, Montreal General Hospital, Quebec.


Abuse and neglect of the elderly represent an important social problem in Canada. Forms of elder abuse and neglect include physical, psychological and material abuse; neglect, both intentional and unintentional; and violation of legal rights. The definitions, signs, and symptoms of elder abuse and neglect are discussed, as are estimates of incidence and prevalence, and descriptions of possible risk factors. The evolution of legislation regarding the reporting of elder abuse and neglect is reviewed, as are relevant areas of common law, the Civil Code, and the Criminal Code. This is followed by an overview of practical considerations in clinical management, and finally by recommendations for further research.

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