Journal Article
Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
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Domestic elder abuse and the law.

OBJECTIVES: The authors evaluated the impact of state adult protective service legislation on rates of investigated and substantiated domestic elder abuse.

METHODS: Data were collected on all domestic elder abuse reports, investigations, and substantiations for each US state and the District of Columbia for 1999. State statutes and regulations pertaining to adult protective services were reviewed.

RESULTS: There were 190 005 domestic elder abuse reports from 17 states, a rate of 8.6 per 1000 elders; 242 430 domestic elder abuse investigations from 47 states, a rate of 5.9; and 102 879 substantiations from 35 states, a rate of 2.7. Significantly higher investigation rates were found for states requiring mandatory reporting and tracking of numbers of reports.

CONCLUSIONS: Domestic elder abuse documentation among states shows substantial differences related to specific aspects of state laws.

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