Field-generated Innovations to address elder abuse, neglect and financial exploitation

Project: Research project

Project Details



Background: Demographic changes in the population age structure are outcomes of longer life expectancies, lower birth rates, and an older average age of giving birth (see, e.g., Ram 1998, Chesnais 2001, Vaupel 2001, Becker 2004). It has been recognized that such changes are likely to result in significant increases in elder abuse (see, e.g., Ramsey-Klawsnik 2000, Voelker 2002). Specifically, disproportionate increases in the number of dependent elders relative to working age individuals may result in higher stress levels among caregivers and increase abuse opportunities, and thus may act to increase the rates of elder abuse. Clinicians have identified a broad array of risk factors typically associated with elder abuse and neglect, and exploitation Factors such as a caregiver’s mental health, substance abuse, dependence on the care recipient, and depression have been described as important indicators of elder abuse and mistreatment. Alternative theories of abuse emphasize the personal problems of the abuser (e.g., alcoholism and personality characteristics) and the personal characteristics of the elderly (e.g., poor health, limitations of daily living, social isolation) as primary factors of abuse. The literature on elder mistreatment, however, appears to emphasize dependency and stress as two of the most significant factors. Community based elder abuse, neglect and financial exploitation demonstrate a strong relationship between disabilities and abuses (see Post et al.)
This study builds on previous elder abuse research in that will be creating a dashboard with existing screening tools for elder abuse but also risk factors for elder abuse for interventions and prevention respectively. We propose to create a dashboard as an application to screen for disabilities, other risk factors and the various types of elder abuse, neglect, and financial exploitation. This dashboard will be available nationally and link healthcare providers, families, friends, and individuals themselves to identify abuses and to link persons to specific resources. As an example, financial exploitation is devastating. To that end, the federal government created the consumer financial protection bureau to assist the elderly being exploited.

This study will rely on an innovative Utilization Focused Evaluation which is more sensitive to change to evaluate progress and reach goals. Furthermore, this study will rely on industry standards of UX/UI development to test the usability, accessibility of the software and also the scaling up to a national level will be informed by Normalization Process Theory using mixed methods and heuristics to test for adoption and dissemination.
Effective start/end date10/1/17 → 9/30/19


  • Office for Victims of Crime (2017-VF-GX-K136)


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