Interventions and Reporting Elder Maltreatment

While research on EM is still limited, it is widely understood that many older adults who are maltreated experience more than one type of abuse. The combination of emotional abuse and financial exploitation, for example, is commonly experienced among abused elders. That is why it is important to understand all types of maltreatment.23

In addition to the trauma-informed techniques addressed earlier, dental professionals can ask the patient three direct questions if they suspect signs of elder maltreatment are present:

  • Is anyone taking your money?
  • Are you afraid of anyone?
  • Is anyone hurting you?24

In many states, adult protection or human services officials may be the initial investigators on elder maltreatment cases. Make sure to notify proper authorities, which is often the local adult protection services.25