Giving Voice to ‘Age at the Edge’ – A Challenge for Social Workers Intervening with Elder Abuse and Neglect

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The purpose of this qualitative study was to learn about social workers’ experience of the therapeutic encounter with victims and perpetrators of elder abuse and neglect and its implications for their personal and professional lives. Participants were 17 experienced women social workers, who worked with abused and neglected older adults in Israel. Data were collected by in-depth semi-structured interviews, which were later transcribed and content analyzed. Four main themes were revealed: (1) The Complexity of the Experience of the Therapeutic Encounter; (2) Circles Echoing Between the Professional and the Personal; (3) Between Growth and Attrition; and (4) Experiencing the Mission and its Meaning. As time is running out for older adults, the “now or never” perspective shapes social workers’ encounter with elder abuse opening a unique kind of dialogue. Implications for practice and further research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)797-807
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Family Violence
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 2014

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014, Springer Science+Business Media New York.


  • Elder abuse and neglect
  • Experience
  • Qualitative research
  • Social workers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Law


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