Practitioner Empowerment, Older Adult Mistreatment, and Dementia

Jeannette Lindenbach, Sylvie Larocque, Debra Morgan, Kristen Jacklin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Although some studies have revealed practitioner disempowerment in cases of older adult mistreatment, this experience is poorly understood. In addition, dementia and contextual influences further complicate cases; yet, little is known about the experience of practitioners with this complexity. This critical inquiry, based on Critical social theory, critical consciousness, and professional agency, aimed to address these gaps. Fifty-one practitioners from diverse health care and social service disciplines from rural and urban communities in Northeastern Ontario participated in interviews, journals, and focus groups. Analysis of data revealed the need for empowerment within a perpetual cycle of non-resolution, to refocus on legal clarity and intervention versus the current legal complexity and education focus, and to develop adequate infrastructure to support interprofessional efforts. The infusion of this knowledge into policy, practice, and research has great potential to improve outcomes for older adults with dementia who are mistreated in their homes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)306-320
Number of pages15
JournalCanadian Journal on Aging
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 16 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding for this study was received from the Ontario Trillium Foundation, ID number SD93230. The funding source did not play a role in this study. Dr. Lindenbach acknowledges the guidance and support of her PhD thesis director and committee members in the preparation of this article, and also acknowledges the generous financial support of the Ontario Trillium Foundation.

Publisher Copyright:


  • Mots-clés vieillissement
  • abus envers les personnes âgées
  • autonomisation
  • démence
  • législation
  • maltraitance des personnes âgées
  • pratique


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