Older Women: Current and Future Challenges of Professionals with an Aging Population

Older Women: Current and Future Challenges of Professionals with an Aging Population

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Older Women: Current and Future Challenges of Professionals With An Aging Population is about older women and the unique challenges they face now and in coming decades. Elderly women face problems ...
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Defining Abuse in Older Women: Voices of the Professionals in Elder Abuse and Domestic Violence

Pp. 136-173 (38)

Teresa Kilbane


Women in their later years’ experience abuse from their intimate partner. This abuse can be ‘domestic violence grown old’ or ‘abuse in later life’. Two service systems in the public sector respond to these women-adult protective services and domestic violence programs. This chapter compares how elder abuse investigators and domestic violence workers identify intimate partner violence among older abused women by an intimate partner served at their respective agencies in a major urban city. The research study collected qualitative data from interviews of seven elder abuse investigators and nine domestic violence workers describes how they define and contrast elder abuse versus domestic violence. Both systems serving the older woman experiencing intimate partner violence (IPV) define domestic violence similarly. Entry into the systems can be based on mandate of the system rather than the needs of the client. Older women experiencing IPV require the expertise of each system. With strong leadership from both professions, the establishment of collaborative mechanisms, and cross training opportunities, the older woman facing harm from her partner will be served more effectively.


Abuse in later life, Adult protective services, Domestic violence, Older women.


Loyola University Chicago School of Social Work 820 North Michigan Avenue Chicago, IL 60611, USA.