CIC and NCIPC Release Elder Abuse Definitions

With both reported and unreported cases of elder abuse on the rise, the need for national definitions of elder abuse has become apparent. In a joint operation, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC) have taken steps to meet this need.

The paper, titled “Elder Abuse Surveillance: Uniform definitions and recommended core data elements” seeks to provide specific definitions for different types of elder abuse. These different types of abuse include physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional/psychological abuse, neglect, and financial exploitation.

This is the first time that such things have been attempted to be defined on a national level. Up until now, states have relied on their own definitions of elder abuse. Since state guidelines differ, it is hoped that setting up national guidelines will help when trying to record and measure both incidences and trends in elder abuse.

The report consists of all previous research into the differing facets and types of abuse as well as what age ranges actually define the term “elder.” It also will help to determine what constitutes financial abuse, including such acts as financial misappropriation, undue influence, and breach of conservatorship.

Collecting the data used in the report has not been an easy task. This is primarily due to the differing definitions that are applied from state to state. The data was collected from various state’s adult protective services departments, long-term care ombudsmen, and state law-enforcement agenice. Each of these tends to use their own jargon, making collating data very difficult.

Despite the difficulties in gathering the research for the report, most agree this is an important first step in having nationwide standards in this most important issue facing aging adults in our nation.

If you or someone you know has been the victim of elder abuse or neglect, contact the law offices of Schenk Smith. Our attorneys specialize in this kind of litigation and will review your case. Contact us today.