Advancing the field of elder abuse: future directions and policy implications

J Am Geriatr Soc. 2012 Nov;60(11):2151-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1532-5415.2012.04211.x. Epub 2012 Oct 30.


Elder abuse, sometimes called elder mistreatment or elder maltreatment, includes psychological, physical, and sexual abuse; neglect (caregiver neglect and self-neglect); and financial exploitation. Evidence suggests that one in 10 older adults experiences some form of elder abuse, but only one in 25 cases is reported to social services agencies. At the same time, elder abuse is associated with significant morbidity and premature mortality. Despite these findings, there is a great paucity in research, practice, and policy addressing the pervasive issues of elder abuse. Through my experiences as a American Political Sciences Association Congressional Policy Fellow and Health and Aging Policy Fellow working with the Administration on Community Living (ACL) (previously known as the Administration on Aging) for the last 2 years, I will describe the major functions of the ACL and highlight two major pieces of federal legislation: The Older Americans Act and the Elder Justice Act. I will also highlight major research gaps and future policy relevant research directions for the field of elder abuse.

Publication types

  • Research Support, American Recovery and Reinvestment Act
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Elder Abuse / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Elder Abuse / prevention & control*
  • Forecasting
  • Humans
  • Public Policy / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Public Policy / trends
  • Research
  • United States