Conference Abstracts

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De-Normalizing Ageism: A fundamental step in preventing elder abuse

McDonald, T. A., 2016

4th National Elder Abuse Conference, Melbourne, Australia

ABSTRACT

Background: As a predictor for elder abuse, ageism within families and societies is the focal area for prevention of all categories of abuse. As with any awareness heightening strategy, risks in providing detailed examples of elder abuse must be counter-balanced with increased understanding that some normalised behaviours are actually abusive and need to cease. Among these behaviours is 'negative positioning' which interprets the actions of older people in ways that undermine their personal identity and integrity and place them in financial, social and health jeopardy within the family context.

Health practitioners subscribing to these normalised interpretations can succumb to clinical decision-making influenced by prejudice. Similar bias can be fostered in providers of general and community services if attention is not drawn to the widespread practical disadvantage that accumulates because of ageist attitudes.

A strategy for raising awareness of ageism and its consequences will be presented.

CITATION McDonald, T. (2016) De-Normalizing Ageism: A fundamental step in preventing elder abuse. The 4th National Elder Abuse Conference, Melbourne. 23 -25 February.

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