Keynote Address – Sherry Hamby – Poly-victimization and the Prevention of Elder Abuse
Understanding vulnerabilities to abuse in late life requires understanding the full burden of victimization. Poly-victimization refers to the experience of multiple different types of victimization. In addition to forms of elder abuse perpetrated by family members and caregiver, elders are vulnerable to other types of victimization that affect their functioning, such as identity theft and other crimes. Research on adverse childhood experiences has also shown the lifelong impact of the cumulative burden of early childhood adversity. A more comprehensive approach to recognizing victimization can inspire more effective strategies for the prevention of elder abuse. This talk will focus on strengths-based approaches to elder abuse prevention, with a focus on ways to support the key strengths and needs that contribute to thriving in late life. Prevention efforts in the following domains will be described: home safety, physical health, psychological well-being, social connections, financial well-being, and spiritual well-being. More holistic approaches to prevention have the most promise for promoting safety and well-being among older adults.