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Working at the frontline in cases of elder abuse: 'It keeps me awake at night'


Cairns, J and Vreugdenhil, AJ, Working at the frontline in cases of elder abuse: 'It keeps me awake at night', Australasian Journal on Ageing, 33, (1) pp. 59-62. ISSN 1440-6381 (2013) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2013 The Authors Australasian Journal on Ageing Copyright 2013 ACOTA

DOI: doi:10.1111/ajag.12017


Aim: To explore the experiences of frontline health and welfare practitioners in working with older people experiencing abuse. Methods: In-depth interviews with 16 Tasmanian community-based health and welfare practitioners regarding their experiences of working in 49 recent cases of elder abuse. Interview transcripts were analysed using thematic analysis. Results: All participants found working in cases of elder abuse challenging and the work itself was perceived as difficult, complex and at times dangerous. The cumulative effect of intimidating work contexts, practice dilemmas and a lack of support resulted in frustration and stress for many practitioners. Nevertheless, participants were committed to providing ongoing services and support for older people experiencing abuse. Conclusion: Frontline practitioners working in cases of elder abuse face significant challenges and could be better supported through strengthening organisational elder abuse policies, increased management support and more age-inclusive family violence support services. © 2013 ACOTA.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Social work
Research Field:Counselling, wellbeing and community services
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Provision of health and support services
Objective Field:Allied health therapies (excl. mental health services)
UTAS Author:Cairns, J (Ms Jane Cairns)
UTAS Author:Vreugdenhil, AJ (Associate Professor Anthea Vreugdenhil)
ID Code:89321
Year Published:2013
Web of Science® Times Cited:6
Deposited By:School of Social Sciences
Deposited On:2014-02-28
Last Modified:2017-11-28

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