Elder abuse in long-term care residences and the risk indicators

Miri Cohen, Sarah Halevy-Levin, Roni Gagin, Dana Priltuzky, Gideon Friedman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The aim of the study was to assess the prevalence of abuse among the residents of long-term care facilities in Israel, and its associations with risk indicators. Seventy-one such residents aged 70 or more years were assessed in the internal and orthopaedic departments of two university medical centres for possible abuse by carers at the long-term facilities from which they were admitted. The study collected socio-demographic and health profiles and a list of maltreatment or abusive acts, and administered the Signs of Abuse Inventory and the Expanded Indicators of Abuse Questionnaire. Among the 71 residents, 31 per cent reported some form of maltreatment, most being instances of disrespectful behaviour. Signs of abuse, mostly of neglect, were detected in 22.5 per cent of the sample. Hierarchical regression analysis revealed that higher scores on risk indicators and higher dependence on others for the activities of daily living significantly associated with reported abuse, while age, gender, risk indicators and lower blood albumin level (being an indicator of worse nutritional and health status) significantly associated with identified signs of abuse. It is concluded that direct questioning mainly discloses instances of disrespectful behaviours and humiliation, while the assessment of signs of abuse is more sensitive to cases of neglect. Risk indicators were found to be reliable indicators of abuse. Routine screening for these indicators is recommended to improve detection and thereby to prevent abuse in long-term care facilities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1027-1040
Number of pages14
JournalAgeing and Society
Issue number6
StatePublished - Aug 2010


  • elder abuse
  • long-term facilities
  • risk indicators
  • signs of abuse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Health(social science)
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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