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Consequently, policies and programs were tailored to look like the child abuse and neglect model.For example, both child abuse and elder abuse models require the reporting of incidences of abuse through specific channels, the designation of certain professionals to report if incidences of abuse are learned, and penalties for violations.
It is against this backdrop that elder abuse emerged as a recognized social problem in the 1980s.At that time, the purpose of APS was to protect adults with physical and/or mental limitations.However, the APS system became the solution when elder abuse became a public issue, allowing action on the matter without having to call on additional state funds .It became a serious medical problem warranting medical as well as legislative intervention .Similarly, we tend to associate domestic violence with the 1960s, when the feminist movement brought this issue onto the national agenda.As a form of family violence, elder abuse has existed for millennia, although it did not gain public attention until fairly recently.
Anthropologists have described some cultures and societies that abandoned or killed the elderly during times of structural inequalities and tensions .The picture of a frail elderly parent dependent upon their adult child caregiver was disseminated, and because there was no statute for elder abuse at that time, lawmakers and service providers turned to the child abuse model with its mandatory reporting laws .In 1974, an amendment to the Social Security Act created the Adult Protective Services (APS).In 1768, wife beating was legally sanctioned and codified in English common laws.Husbands were permitted to physically chastise their wives with sticks no larger than the circumference of their thumbs if they deemed that their wives were behaving inappropriately .Looking back in history, it becomes obvious that it is not a recent development.