Identifying and responding to gaps in domestic abuse services for older women
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Identifying and responding to gaps in domestic abuse services for older women

Rebecca Shiel Staff nurse (mental health), Mill View Hospital, Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, Hove, East Sussex

Domestic abuse is widespread and indiscriminate. Older women living with domestic abuse report more health-related concerns than any other group, and demonstrate a higher incidence of significant mental health issues. Research suggests that older women who have experienced domestic abuse are not having their psychological and physical support needs met by existing services. This article examines the physical and mental health issues that older women face as a result of abusive relationships, and the barriers to seeking help. Multidisciplinary healthcare professionals can facilitate the therapeutic engagement of older women living with domestic abuse. Refuges and related interventions are limited in terms of the support they can offer, however, research suggests that developing a stepped approach, tailored to suit older women’s needs, could be beneficial.

Nursing Older People. 28, 6,22-26. doi: 10.7748/nop.2016.e815

Correspondence

rebeccashiel73@gmail.com

Peer review

This article has been subject to double-blind review and has been checked using antiplagiarism software

Conflict of interest

None declared

Received: 01 March 2016

Accepted: 02 June 2016