This document reflects the ever-evolving research-based knowledge and practices regarding older adults mistreatment, and it is regularly updated.
In order to correctly quote our works presented below, we recommend you to use the following reference associated with our copyrights:
- Leading Practice to Counter the Mistreatment of Older Adults, CIUSSS West-Central Montreal; Elder Mistreatment Helpline (LAAA); Research Chair on Mistreatment of Older Adults; Ministère de la Famille, Secrétariat aux aînés, Gouvernement du Québec, 2017. Terminology on the mistreatment of older adults. Find at https://maltraitancedesaines.com/en/terminology
© Leading Practice to Counter the Mistreatment of Older Adults, CIUSSS West-Central Montreal; Elder Mistreatment Helpline (LAAA); Research Chair on Mistreatment of Older Adults; Ministère de la Famille, Secrétariat aux aînés, Gouvernement du Québec, 2017.
Download the most recent version of the Terminology on the mistreatment of older adults in PDF format
Definition of the mistreatment of older adults
“Mistreatment is a single or repeated act, or lack of appropriate action, occurring within any relationship where there is an expectation of trust, which causes harm or distress to an older adult, whether the person deliberately wants to cause harm or not.”
(inspired by the WHO (2002) The Toronto Declaration on the Global Prevention of Elder Abuse; the notion of “intentionality” was not part of the original definition)
FORMS OF MISTREATMENT (MANIFESTATIONS)
Neglect: Failure to show concern for the older adult, particularly by not taking appropriate action to meet his or her needs.
* “Bullying of older adults is an act, or the absence of action, of a single or repetitive nature that is generally deliberate and is committed directly or indirectly within a relationship of force, power or control between individuals, which is motivated by the intent to cause harm to one, or more, older adults.” (See Beaulieu, M., Bédard, M.-È. & Leboeuf, R. (2016). L’intimidation envers les personnes aînées : un problème social connexe à la maltraitance? Revue Service social. 62(1), 38-56.)
INTENTION BEHIND MISTREATMENT
Intentional mistreatment: The person deliberately causes harm to the older adult.
Unintentional mistreatment: The person does not want to cause harm or does not understand the harm being caused.
NB: It is important to assess the signs and situation to avoid drawing hasty conclusions or labelling people.