Elder mistreatment—whether physical, financial, emotional, or sexual—is consistently found to affect at least 10% of older adults. Yet in emergency departments (EDs), one of the few places where older adults can be evaluated by trained clinicians, only 1 in 10 cases of elder mistreatment are identified and referred for assessment.

To address this gap, the National Collaboratory to Address Elder Mistreatment (Collaboratory)—a multi-disciplinary group of leaders in the fields of geriatrics and gerontology led by EDC—developed a comprehensive care model that EDs can use to address elder mistreatment. EDC is evaluating whether diverse EDs are able to implement the model and how use of the model affects (1) staff ability to identify and manage cases of elder mistreatment and (2) overall ED functioning.

Key Activities

EDC collaborated with six hospital EDs to conduct a mixed-methods evaluation that included the following activities:

  • Implement the Elder Mistreatment Emergency Department Assessment Profile to identify strengths and gaps in best practice
  • Train staff on the basics of elder mistreatment and how to administer brief and triggered screening tools
  • Evaluate changes in staff knowledge, attitudes, and efficacy prior to and following their training participation
  • Interview key staff at each site immediately after implementation and again at six months into implementation
  • Leverage Collaboratory expertise to provide regular and ongoing technical assistance on protocol implementation
  • Facilitate quarterly cross-ED meetings to share implementation lessons, challenges, and success stories
  • Guide rapid cycle testing of care model iterations and promote resultant midstream adaptations
  • Collect hospital-level ED data on older adult patients who were screened, identified as at risk, reported to Adult Protective Services, and referred to community resources
  • Document patient-level risk factors, ED response, and tool utility based on completed screenings


Findings from the evaluation provided the following:

  • Data that the Collaboratory can use to refine program elements and prepare for wider dissemination
  • Tried and tested tools and processes that other EDs can use to implement the new care model

Learn More

The John A. Hartford Foundation; The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation; The Health Foundation of Western and Central New York

USC Keck School of Medicine
UMASS Medical School
Weill Cornell Medicine
Eastern Niagara Health System
Harris Health System
Heywood Hospital
St. Joseph’s Health
UNC Medical Center
Massachusetts Executive Office of Elder Affairs
U.S. Department of Justice
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
Administration for Community Living
National Institute on Aging
The Geriatric Emergency Department Collaborative
Greenlee Global