Understanding the medical markers of elder abuse and neglect: physical examination findings

Clin Geriatr Med. 2014 Nov;30(4):687-712. doi: 10.1016/j.cger.2014.08.002. Epub 2014 Oct 24.


A specific foundation of knowledge is important for evaluating potential abuse from physical findings in the older adult. The standard physical examination is a foundation for detecting many types of abuse. An understanding of traumatic injuries, including patterns of injury, is important for health care providers, and inclusion of elder abuse in the differential diagnosis of patient care is essential. One must possess the skills needed to piece the history, including functional capabilities, and physical findings together. Armed with this skill set, health care providers will develop the confidence needed to identify and intervene in cases of elder abuse.

Keywords: Elder abuse; Elder neglect; Medical markers; Physical injury.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Accidental Falls / statistics & numerical data
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Biomarkers / analysis*
  • Comprehension
  • Contusions / diagnosis*
  • Contusions / etiology
  • Elder Abuse / diagnosis*
  • Elder Abuse / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Geriatric Assessment / methods*
  • Home Care Services / organization & administration
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Needs Assessment
  • Nursing Assessment
  • Physical Examination / methods*
  • Risk Assessment
  • Wounds and Injuries / diagnosis*
  • Wounds and Injuries / etiology


  • Biomarkers