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Overview of Elder Abuse & Mistreatment

presented by Kristen L. Mauk, PhD, DNP, RN, CRRN, GCNS-BC, GNP-BC, FARN, FAAN

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Disclosure Statement:

Financial— Kris Mauk receives compensation from MedBridge for the production of this course. There are no other relevant financial relationships. Nonfinancial— No relevant nonfinancial relationship exists.

Satisfactory completion requirements: All disciplines must complete learning assessments to be awarded credit, no minimum score required unless otherwise specified within the course.

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Video Runtime: 26 Minutes; Learning Assessment Time: 24 Minutes

Elder abuse and mistreatment is a growing problem in our aging society but goes largely unreported. Since most health care professionals are mandated to report suspected elder abuse, recognizing the risk factors, signs, and symptoms of mistreatment in older adults is vital. This course provides an overview of statistics and trends in elder mistreatment and how to distinguish between types of abuse.

Meet Your Instructor


Dr. Mauk has been a professor of nursing for many years. Prior to moving to Colorado, she was a professor of nursing at a large private university in Indiana for nearly 25 years, and there she held the first Kreft Endowed Chair for the Advancement of Nursing Science, a position dedicated to gerontological nursing. She…

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1. Background on Elder Abuse

Elder abuse and mistreatment goes largely unreported, often because victims are afraid of retaliation by perpetrators or because they are dependent on others for care. Statistics on elder abuse will be presented along with reasons why this problem is often not reported. Issues related to research on elder abuse and mistreatment are also discussed.

2. Types of Elder Abuse: Recognition and Reporting

All health professionals need to recognize common signs and symptoms of elder abuse and mistreatment. This chapter describes various types of elder abuse as defined by Hwalek-Sengstock, identifying increasing levels of violence and harm, from neglect to direct physical abuse. Particular emphasis is placed on recognizing red flags associated with each type of abuse. The phenomenon of self-neglect among older adults is also discussed. Mechanisms for reporting are described.

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