Wisconsin’s Elder Abuse and Adult at Risk Reporting

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Wisconsin’s Elder Abuse and Adult at Risk Reporting Law of 1983:

Wisconsin’s Elder Abuse and Adult at Risk Reporting Law of 1983 Annie Rifleman, Caitlyn Phillips, Judy Treml

Brief Review of Social Policy:

Brief Review of Social Policy Social Justice Component- Desert National statistics indicate at least 4% of the over 60 population will be abused or neglected sometime during their later years. (I.B) Other theories as to why elder abuse occurs include: caregiver stress; dependency of victim on abuser; abuser psychopathology, including alcohol and other drug abuse, mental illness, etc. (I.F) “Each person gets what he or she deserves” (Barusch, 2015, p.8)


Elder Adult at Risk “a person age 60 or older who has experienced, is currently experiencing, or is at risk of experiencing abuse, neglect, self-neglect, or financial exploitation.” (F1) Adult at Risk “any adult who has a physical or mental condition that substantially impairs his or her ability to care for his or her needs who has experienced, is currently experiencing, or is at risk of experiencing abuse, neglect, self-neglect or financial exploitation.” (F2)

What is Reportable? :

What is Reportable? Physical Abuse Emotional Abuse Sexual Abuse Treatment without consent Unreasonable confinement or restraint


Analysis-Implementation Goal/Social Problem Elderly people and vulnerable adults are being abused Educate the public Protect the oppressed (elderly) State level Assist lead agencies in reporting cases, prepare/distribute, collect statistical information, develop further information on issue County level County boards, five main duties: develop, establish, operation, reports, publicize Basis for entitlement Vulnerable adults Elderly people over the age of 60 Nature of benefit Service/goods: empower the elderly/adults to feel safer and comfortable Prevent the abuse from happening- knowledge, education, etc.


Analysis-Implementation Administrative Structure Legal system needs to be involved, caregiver education, have a central knowledge base, advocate for change in this area, provide citizen participation Financing Mechanism Cost-effective, prevent further legal issues from abuse (costly) State and county funded 6

Call to Action:

Call to Action While there are many extraneous factors that impact the need for more comprehensive elder abuse laws nationwide, the growing numbers of elderly and at risk adults creates the need to provide protections for the treatment of vulnerable adults.  Acknowledging the factors that can lead to instances of elder abuse, such as caregiver stress and mental illness to name a few, it is necessary for comprehensive and current laws to be in place to protect one of our most vulnerable populations.  Keeping these policies as relevant to current trends in the populations of elderly and at risk adult population in our state is necessary to garner adequate federal funding


References Abramson, B. (2006). Wisconsin’s elder abuse and adult at risk reporting law.        Coalition of Wisconsin Aging Groups , 1-20. Retrieved from       http://cwagwisconsin.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/       Adults-at-Risk-Laws-10.06.pd Barusch , Amanda, (2013) Foundations of Social Policy: Social Justice in Human Perspective . (5th ed.). Belmont: Brooks/Cole.

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