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Abuse is in the eyes of the beholder: using multiple perspectives to evaluate elder mistreatment under round-the-clock foreign home carers in Israel

  • LIAT AYALON (a1)

The overall goal of the study reported in this paper was to examine differences in the perceived occurrence of abuse and neglect as between older care recipients, their family carers, and foreign home-care workers in Israel. Overall, 148 matched family members and foreign home-care workers and 75 care recipients completed a survey of abuse and neglect. Significant discrepancies in their reports of neglect were found, with the foreign home-care workers more likely to identify neglect (66%) than the older adults (27.7%) or their family members (29.5%). Although the rates of reported abuse ranged between 16.4 and 20.7 per cent and the differences were not statistically significant, the different parties assigned the responsibility for the abuse to different perpetrators. The independent variables that significantly associated with abuse and neglect also varied by the three groups of participants. The findings suggest that even with round-the-clock home care, the basic needs of many older adults are not met, and that many experience substantial abuse. The study emphasises the subjective nature of abuse and neglect, and suggests that more education about what constitutes elder abuse and neglect may lead to more accurate and consistent reports across reporting sources. Incorporating data from the various stakeholders may enhance the early identification of elder abuse and neglect.

Corresponding author
Address for correspondence: Liat Ayalon, School of Social Work, Bar Ilan University, Ramat Gan, 52900Israel. E-mail:
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Ageing & Society
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