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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 16  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 56-62

Screening for Elder Abuse in the Health-Care Setting - A South Indian Hospital-based Study


Department of General Medicine, Indira Gandhi Government General Hospital and Research Institute, No 1, Victor Simonel Street, Pondicherry, India

Correspondence Address:
Marie Stanley Ambroise
Department of General Medicine, Indira Gandhi Government General Hospital and Research Institute, No 1, Victor Simonel Street, Pondicherry - 605001
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.35262/jiag.v16i2.56-62

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Objective: ‘Elder Abuse’ is a major issue impacting many households. Although several surveys to understand this growing crime against elders has shown varied prevalence worldwide, not much data exists in the state of Puducherry. The main objectives were to screen for abuse, study the demographic patterns of the abused elderly, to estimate their reporting behaviour and awareness of redress mechanisms. Methods: A cross-sectional analysis on the elderly patients attending the out-patient department of a tertiary care centre in Puducherry for various ailments. A semi-structured questionnaire was used to collect data from 300 patients after their informed consent, and the results were statistically analysed. Results: About one-fifth of the elderly reported abuse, the majority belonged to lower socio-economic strata. Disrespect was the most common form of abuse experienced. While the Police Helpline was reported to be the most known redress mechanism, more than one-third of the study population were not aware of any form of redress mechanisms. Conclusion: The findings highlighted the range and type of abuse experienced. The general perception that the families are the safest place for the elderly in India has been questioned by the findings which emerged from this study. Although the victims were aware of the help and support received through police and other agencies, several obstacles to seeking help and support were identified.


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