A Therapeutic Response to Suspected Elder Abuse

A Therapeutic Response to Suspected Elder Abuse

This webinar originally occurred on May 9th, 2019
Duration: 1.5 hours


Recognizing elder abuse and neglect is challenging and can made more difficult if the victim fears losing their independence. This webinar explores a therapeutic response to elder abuse, including how to recognize signs of abuse and respect the rights of older people.

Although physical assault injuries may be easy to recognize, identifying elder abuse in its many forms can be challenging. As an older person’s senses and mental faculties start to dull, they are more vulnerable to a variety of abuses, ranging from financial to physical to sexual. Unfortunately, vulnerability isn’t the only factor affected by the degradation of memory and the senses; recognition and recall, two abilities impacted by this degradation, are critical when answering questions from responders or reporting abuse.

This webinar discusses the multiple layers of information necessary to determine the presence of abuse and to assist an older victim to process that abuse. The individual’s response and interpretation of the event may reflect their fears and experience, creating a level of resistance to outside help. Working with a calm and therapeutic responder can help reverse this resistance to cooperation. Additionally, a responder who is well versed in the older victim’s rights sets the stage for the interview.

This webinar discusses cases that help demonstrate clear decisions that respect the rights of the older victim while protecting them from further abuse.

Detailed Learning Objectives

  1. Understand the epidemiology of elder abuse.
  2. Describe and be able to recognize the older adults’ vulnerabilities to abuse.
  3. Describe pearls about how to approach an older person that is suspected to be a victim of abuse.
  4. Understand the legal rights of capacity for independence in older adults and their fears.
  5. Identify and locate state and local supportive agencies standing by to assist the older vulnerable adult.


  • Dr. Patricia Speck | DNP Public Health Nursing and DNP Forensic Nursing Concentration Coordinator (Retired)

Funding for this Forensic Technology Center of Excellence webinar has been provided by the National Institute of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice.

The opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this webinar are those of the presenter(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of the U.S. Department of Justice.

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