Elder abuse and neglect in Israel : A comparison between the general elderly population and elderly new immigrants Academic Article uri icon


  • Abstract: The present study investigated differences between the general elderly population and elderly new immigrants from former Soviet Union countries in regard to the incidence of elder abuse and neglect, victims' characteristics, and perpetrators' characteristics. In addition, the study sought to examine predictors of various types of abuse and neglect. Data collection was conducted over a 1-year period, during which 120 new cases of abuse and neglect were identified. Forty-eight of these cases were elderly new immigrants from former Soviet Union countries. Both groups significantly differed in terms of victims' and perpetrators' characteristics. Being a new immigrant was found to be a significant predictor of physical abuse and neglect. Implications for intervention and policy are discussed. Key Words: elder abuse, immigrants, neglect, perpetrators, victims. Elder abuse and neglect has been recognized as a social problem affecting significant numbers of elderly persons in many Western countries. Studies designed to estimate the prevalence or incidence of abuse and mistreatment of older adults living at home have varied considerably because of differing methodologies and data sources. Although research has been insufficient to determine the scope of elder abuse and neglect (Barnett, Miller, & Perrin, 1997), a review of earlier studies shows that in community-based surveys, between 3 and 10% of individuals over the age of 65 have stated experiencing various types of elder abuse, neglect, or both (Comijs, Pot, Smit, Bouter, & Jonker, 1998; Cupitt, 1997; Hogstel & Curry, 1999), with only one in five being reported (National Center on Elder Abuse, 1998). Additionally, prevalence rates seemed to differ by forms of abuse and neglect, although findings across studies are not consistent. For example, in several studies (Foelker, Holland, Marsh, & Simmons, 1990; Shiferaw, Mittelmark, Wofford, Anderson, & Wallas, 1994; Soeda & Araki, 1999), the most prevalent forms of abuse and neglect involved self-neglect, followed by mental abuse, caregiver neglect, and exploitation, whereas in another study, mental, financial, and physical abuse were the most prevalent, and neglect was the least prevalent (Comijs, Smit, Pot, Bouter, J however, one earlier study (Lehman, 1989), conducted among elderly Jews, found that 8% of the elderly investigated had experienced fraud. …

publication date

  • January 1, 2005