European council of legal medicine (ECLM) guidelines for the examination of suspected elder abuse


Article 25 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (adopted in Nice on 7 December 2000) recognizes and respects the rights of older people to lead a life of dignity and independence and to participate in social and cultural life. It also highlights the importance of prevention and recognition of elder abuse, especially since exposure to violence is likely as the population ages, either in familial or in institutional settings. Elder abuse has some issues in common with child abuse but in spite of this fact currently is less recognized. Health professionals have a major role to play in early detection and management of cases of elder abuse. This protocol summarizes some key concepts and approaches to assist in the timely detection and investigation of elder abuse cases by healthcare professionals and forensic practitioners.

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Fig. 1


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    There is no uniform definition of older person, as the life expectancy shows significant differences between the developed and developing world. The most common reference age for scientific and data collection purposes is 65 years old; however, 60 years has also sometimes been used.


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Keller, E., Santos, C., Cusack, D. et al. European council of legal medicine (ECLM) guidelines for the examination of suspected elder abuse. Int J Legal Med 133, 317–322 (2019).

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  • European council of legal medicine
  • Elder abuse
  • Forensic medical report