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J Elder Abuse Negl. 2018 Mar-May;30(2):103-126. doi: 10.1080/08946566.2017.1382413. Epub 2017 Nov 22.

Detection of elder abuse: Exploring the potential use of the Elder Abuse Suspicion Index© by law enforcement in the field.

Author information

1
a Department of Social & Behavioral Sciences , Yale School of Public Health , New Haven , CT , USA.
2
b Department of Social Policy and Intervention , University of Oxford , Oxford , UK.
3
c Department of Chronic Disease Epidemiology , Yale School of Public Health , New Haven , CT , USA.
4
d Robert N. Butler Columbia Aging Center , Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health , New York , USA.
5
e Departments of Family Medicine , St. Mary's Hospital & McGill University , Montreal , Canada.
6
f Department of Social & Behavioral Sciences , Yale School of Public Health , New Haven , CT , USA.
7
g Department of Microbial Disease Epidemiology , Yale School of Public Health , New Haven , CT , USA.

Abstract

There are no known instruments to aid law enforcement officers in the assessment of elder abuse (EA), despite officers' contact with older adults. This study aimed to identify: 1) officers' perceptions and knowledge of EA, 2) barriers in detecting EA in the field, 3) characteristics officers value in a detection tool, and to explore 4) the potential for officers to use the Elder Abuse Suspicion Index (EASI)©. Data was collected from 69 Connecticut officers who confirmed that barriers to effectively detecting EA included a lack of EA detection instruments, as well as a lack of training on warning signs and risk factors. Officers indicated that the important elements of a desirable tool for helping to detect EA included ease of use, clear instructions, and information on follow-up resources. Approximately 80% of respondents could see themselves using the EASI.

KEYWORDS:

Elder abuse; aging; detection; law enforcement; screening

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