Elder Abuse National Research – Stage 1 – The development of an Australian definition of abuse of older people to apply in research
The abuse of older people is a significant issue of concern in Australia but at present, there is no agreed, nationally applicable definition of elder abuse. Following the release of the final report of the Australian Law Reform Commission inquiry – Protecting the Rights of Older Australians from Abuse in 2017, the Australian Government, Attorney General’s Department commissioned a national research program to improve the evidence base on the abuse of older people in Australia.
This paper will explore findings from the first component of the of the Elder Abuse National Research program which involves the development of a definition of abuse of older people to apply to research in the Australian context. This research, which was undertaken by the Australian Institute of Family Studies and the National Ageing Research Institute, builds on earlier research undertaken by the Australian Institute of Family Studies and informs additional components of the Elder Abuse National Research program that involve the design and delivery of instruments to test the proposed definition of elder abuse and analysis of existing data sets.