Elder abuse symposium

Leyden Academy on Vitality and Ageing has organised a symposium on elder abuse on Wednesday March 30, 2011. Twelve international speakers discussed the topic in order to put it more prominently on the agenda in the Netherlands. During the symposium the state secretary of health, welfare and sport Marlies Veldhuijzenvan Zanten-Hyllner MD presented her action plan on elder abuse.

International scientists such as emeritus Professor Elizabeth Podnieks, Professor Simon Biggs, Professor Paul Kingston, as well as Dutch scientists Hannie Comijs and Anne Margriet Pot contributed to this day. You can download their presentations here:

Dr. Hannie Comijs, GGZinGeest/VU University Medical Center
Em. Prof. Elizabeth Podnieks, Ryerson University
Prof. Simon Biggs, Melbourne University
Yulya Mysyuk, MA, MSc, Leyden Academy on Vitality and Ageing
Prof. Anne Margriet Pot, VU University/Trimbos-Institute
Dr. Mei-Chen Lin, Kent State University & Prof. Howie Giles, University of California, Santa Barbara
Susan Kurrle, MD., PhD., University of Sydney
Prof. Hélène Thomas, Institute of Political Studies Aix-en Provence
Prof. Josef Hörl, University of Vienna
Dr. Claire Scodellaro, Université Nancy 2

Background information
In the last decades, elder abuse has been more and more on the agenda worldwide. Prevalence studies from all over the world show that about 5% of the elderly have experienced abuse of some sort. Studies in the Netherlands indicate that it is not much less here. Abuse of elderly does not only concern physical abuse, as the term might convey. It can also involve financial, psychological, or verbal abuse. Exploitation and neglect are expressions of abuse. In some cases different forms of abuse play at the same time.

Although in the past the attention for elder abuse in the Netherlands was lagging somewhat behind, the theme currently receives more and more consideration. Practical guides and procedures how to identify and intervene in cases of abuse are growing. In the Netherlands, however, there seems to be a relative standstill in scientific development of the topic. A thorough scientific concept of the phenomenon is not yet advanced. Especially the embedding of the phenomenon in a wider, social, context is needed. The speakers specifically addressed this during this symposium and a scientific publication on this topic is currently in preparation.

For more information about this symposium you can contact us via info@leydenacademy.nl.