Elder Abuse: Prevention Strategies

Elder abuse is a serious problem that can have harmful effects on victims. The goal for elder abuse prevention is to stop it from happening in the first place. However, the solutions are as complex as the problem.

Knowledge about what works to prevent elder abuse is growing. However, most prevention strategies and practices have not yet been rigorously evaluated to determine their effectiveness. In the absence of proven prevention strategies, program planners may consider the following sources to strengthen their approach.

Prevention Principles

Relevant Publications

  • Ayalon L, Lev S, Green O, Nevo U. A systematic review and meta-analysis of interventions designed to prevent or stop elder maltreatment. Age ageing. 2016; 45(2), 216-227. doi:10.1093/ageing/afv193
  • Baker PRA, Francis DP, Hairi NN, Othman S, Choo WY. Interventions for preventing abuse in the elderly. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2016, Issue 8. Art. No.: CD010321. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD010321.pub2.
  • Campos-Outcalt D. USPSTF: What’s recommended, what’s not. J Fam Pract. 2014; 63(5), 265-269.
  • Daly JM, Schoenfelder DP. Elder abuse prevention. J Gerontol Nurs. 2011; 37(11), 11-17. doi:10.3928/00989134-20111004-01
  • Day A, Boni N, Evert H, Knight T. An assessment of interventions that target risk factors for elder abuse. Health Soc Care Community. 2016; doi:10.1111/hsc.12332
  • Fearing G, Sheppard CL, McDonald L, Beaulieu M, Hitzig SL. A systematic review on community-based interventions for elder abuse and neglectExternal. J Elder Abuse Negl. 2017 Mar 24. doi: 10.1080/08946566.2017.1308286.
  • Pillemer K, Burnes D, Riffin C, Lachs MS. Elder Abuse: Global Situation, Risk Factors, and Prevention StrategiesExternal. Gerontologist. 2016 Apr;56 Suppl 2:S194-205. doi: 10.1093/geront/gnw004.
  • Ploeg J, Fear J, Hutchison B, MacMillan H, Bolan G. A systematic review of interventions for elder abuseExternal. J Elder Abuse Negl. 2009 Jul-Sep;21(3):187-210. doi: 10.1080/08946560902997181.

Other Resources

  • Violence Prevention Evidence BaseExternal
    This database, developed by The Centre for Public Health at Liverpool John Moores University, provides access to abstracts from published studies that have measured the effectiveness of interventions to prevent violence. To be included in the database, studies must have measured the impact of interventions directly on violence. Studies have been selected through a systematic review of published academic literature. The abstracts can be searched by violence type, keywords, and geographical area of implementation.