Understanding service utilization in cases of elder abuse to inform best practices
Elder abuse (EA) case resolution is contingent upon victims accepting and pursuing protective service interventions. Refusal/underutilization of services is a major problem. This study explored factors associated with extent of EA victim service utilization (SU). Data were collected from a random sample of EA cases (n = 250) at a protective service program in New York City. In cases involving financial abuse, higher SU was associated with females, poor health, perceived danger, previous help-seeking, and self or family referral. In physical abuse cases, higher SU was associated with family referral and previous help-seeking; lower SU was related to Hispanic race/ethnicity, being married, and child/grandchild perpetrator. In emotional abuse cases, higher SU was associated with self or family referral, victim-perpetrator gender differential, perceived danger, and previous help-seeking; lower SU was related to child/grandchild perpetrator. Findings carry implications for best practices to retain and promote service use among elder victims of abuse.