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Elder Abuse

Jeff Holmes, MD and Matthew DeLaney, MD, FACEP, FAAEM
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Elder abuse affects approximately 1 in 10 people and is associated with increased morbidity, mortality, and health care costs. Unfortunately, it is easy for elder abuse to go unrecognized in many health care encounters. Elder abuse may be physical or sexual, but it can also be psychological and involve financial exploitation, neglect, and abandonment. While no single validated screening tool exists to detect elder abuse, health care providers can more accurately diagnose this problem by interviewing our patients alone, without their caregivers present, and by recruiting colleagues like front desk staff, EMS, nurses, and radiology techs to help us spot troubling symptoms and behaviors. Mandatory reporting requirements vary by state, but most states do want us to report cases of elder abuse that we identify. Organizations such as the National Center on Elder Abuse can direct us towards resources to help our patients in real time.

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The Buzz That Won't Quit Full episode audio for MD edition 193:13 min - 91 MB - M4AHippo PC RAP May 2018 Written Summary 622 KB - PDF

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