Interprofessional Program to Provide Emergency Sheltering to Abused Elders

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Abuse of senior citizens should be paradoxical in a civilized society; however, the U.S. Government Accountability Office reports that 14.1% of noninstitutionalized older adults experienced some type of abuse within the previous year. This is suspected to be an underestimation of the number of abuses reported. In a society where the older population is predicted to increase significantly, it is likely that the number of cases for abused elders will increase proportionately. Through the success of advocacy groups to raise awareness of child and domestic partner abuse, funding has been channeled to shelter these abuse victims. The same cannot be said for elders who are abused. Providing shelter in a safe, secure, medically appropriate environment, free from violence, for an older adult is essential. This article describes a community's collaborative health planning process to respond to elder abuse and develop a program to shelter elders experiencing abuse or suspected abuse.

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