Mosqueda L, Burnight K, Gironda MW, Moore AA, Robinson J, Olsen B.
Ten percent of older adults experience elder mistreatment, and it is much more common in older adults with dementia. It is associated with higher rates of psychological distress, hospitalization, and death and, in the United States, costs billions of dollars each year. Although elder mistreatment is relatively common and costly, it is estimated that fewer than 10% of instances of elder mistreatment are reported. Given these data, there is a great need for research on interventions to mitigate elder mistreatment and for a practical model or framework to use in approaching such interventions. Although many theories have been proposed, adapted, and applied to understand elder mistreatment, there has not been a simple, coherent framework of known risk factors of the victim, perpetrator, and environment that applies to all types of abuse. This article presents a new model to examine the multidimensional and complex relationships between risk factors. Theories of elder mistreatment, research on risk factors for elder mistreatment, and 10 years of experience of faculty and staff at an Elder Abuse Forensics Center who have investigated more than 1,000 cases of elder mistreatment inform this model. It is hoped that this model, the Abuse Intervention Model, will be used to study and intervene in elder mistreatment.