Elder Abuse in Turkey and Associated Risk Factors


JOURNAL OF SOCIAL SERVICE RESEARCH, vol.45, no.5, pp.739-749, 2019 (SSCI) identifier identifier


Elder abuse is one of the most important problems encountered by the elderly. Health, economical and psychological dimensions of the experience of aging also pose risk for elder abuse. This study aims to determine the abuse to which elder people are exposed based upon their own evaluations and to investigate the risk factors associated with elder abuse. This is a cross-sectional study among quantitative designs. Population of the study comprises 309 outpatient elders over the age of 65 referring to Aydin Dogan Geriatrics Clinic of Ankara University, Turkey. Collected data were analyzed by chi-square test and logistic regression. In total, 70.9% of the elderly participating in this study experienced abuse more than once. Majority of the participants were victims of emotional abuse (64.1%), followed by neglect and abandonment (26.9%) and economic abuse (12.6%). There was significant relation between sex, marital status, health status of the elderly and being abused (p < 0.05). Being female and evaluating health status as bad are risk factors (p < 0.05). Elder abuse is a quite complex and multifaceted social problem. It is expected that this study will increase awareness of helping professionals (social workers, nurses, doctors, counsellors) about elder abuse risk factors and contribute to the development of social policies for preventing elder abuse. For future research, it will be more beneficial if studies on elder abuse adopt a holistic approach that will incorporate the family and relatives of the elderly and institutions.