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  • Author or Editor: Kenneth Gilhooly x
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This chapter examines the possibilities of the ‘bystander intervention model’ to explore the decision making of health and social care professionals when detecting and attempting to prevent financial elder abuse. It is often suggested that the cases that come to the attention of professionals represent the ‘tip of the iceberg’. If this is the case, argue M Gilhooly, Cairns, Davies, K Gilhooly and Harries, at various points in the decision making process professionals must be deciding not to intervene. Although this UK study goes some way to explaining why professionals find it difficult to detect financial elder abuse, or fail to act when they suspect such abuse, the study also revealed that many professionals do play safe and act even when in doubt. The finding that ‘mental capacity’ was a key determinant of both certainty that abuse was taking place, and likelihood of intervention, is concerning. Prevention requires that such abuse is detected well before an older person loses mental capacity.

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We investigated family caring using established questions from national surveys of 1,206 adults aged 40+ from six minority ethnic communities in England and Wales. We included in our analysis factors that predisposed caring (age, sex, marital status and household composition) and enabled caring (health, material resources, education, employment and cultural values). In the general population, 15% of adults are family carers. Three groups reported lower levels of caring (Black African [12%], Chinese [11%] and Black Caribbean [9%]) and three reported higher levels of caring (Indian [23%], Pakistani [17%] and Bangladeshi [18%]). However, ethnicity predicted caring independent of other factors only for the Indian group.

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This chapter presents a comprehensive introduction to the major gerontological topic of participation and social connectivity based on eleven separate NDA projects. Looking at Brazil, India, and South Africa, the chapter begins with a summary of the critical importance of participation to health and well-being in later life. It challenges negative stereotypes of ageing and older people, such as declining participation. It shows that older people do participate and are often tenacious in this but they are often confronted with multiple barriers that prevent them from doing so. The chapter concludes by citing examples on how to improve meaningful participation in later life, which ranges from community arts to literature.

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