Elder Abuse Project

“We see things other people aren’t going to see”
Facilitators and Barriers to Screening and Management of Elder Abuse by Tribal Health Care Providers

A National Needs Assessment by The International Association for Indigenous Aging

Authors: Jolie Crowder, PhD, MSN, RN, CCM; Linda Carson, PhD, MPH, BSN; Kendra Kuehn, MSW; Dave Baldridge

Recent evidence indicates that the values of respect and reverence ascribed to tribal cultures seems to provide little protection for their elders from abuse. An analysis of the National Elder Mistreatment Study (NEMS) found that American Indian and Alaska Native older respondents reported a cumulative abuse prevalence of 33% — almost double that of overall original study findings for white respondents. 89percentgraphic

To address these disparities IA2 conducted what we believe is the first comprehensive, systematic, national needs assessment to date that included personal interviews (n=23) and an online survey (n=90) of tribal providers and participants from 22 states.

Our goal was to identify facilitators and barriers for screening and management of elder abuse by tribal health care providers working in the outpatient setting.

To the extent possible, we present project findings regarding tribal provider experiences with elder abuse, mistreatment and financial exploitation in our full report in the words of of our participants.

High level findings indicate that outpatient tribal health care provider participants are willing and ready to embrace screening for abuse among their older patients– 89% of survey respondents believe tribal health care providers should play a role in screening for elder abuse. These same providers indicate they are already required to intervene in clinical settings that more often than not lack proper protocols for managing cases of elder abuse, offer little training, and either lack information about available community services or supports or lack the actual community services and supports.

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This project was funded by a generous grant from The National Resource Center for Reaching Victims of Crime via the United States (U.S.) Department of Justice Office of Victims of Crime.