Pub. date: 2002 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412950664 | Print ISBN: 9780761922582 | Online ISBN: 9781412950664| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Brian K. Payne
Elder abuse is a relatively recent area of concern for legislators, policy makers, protective service employees, social service employees, criminal justice practitioners, and others who come into contact with victims of elder abuse. During the last decades of the twentieth century, concern in this area grew, along with legislative changes and increases in the number of elderly persons throughout the world. In the late 1990s, however, there was a dearth of academic research (a situation that has begun to change in the early twenty-first century). What academic research there was focused on the definition of elder abuse, types of elder abuse, consequences of abuse, and the justice system's response to elder abuse. Legislative changes included the creation of laws mandating the reporting of suspected cases of abuse, increased sanctions for elder abusers, and the development of nursing home ombudsmen programs. In essence, elder abuse has slowly become criminalized, with various ...