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Minority elderly care in Europe: country profiles

PATEL Naina, (ed.)
Policy Research Institute on Ageing and Ethnicity
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Researchers in ten countries (Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland and the UK)  examine 27 minority groups over a three-year period, looking at social and welfare structures, health, employment and living conditions. This project is the first venture to begin compiling information on minority elders on such a scale. While the experiences of each country are distinct, there are undoubtedly similarities that can be drawn in terms of poor access to housing, lower paid employment and a worse state of health. The project involves minority groups who came from former colonial possessions in the post-war period and those who have arrived more recently, fleeing war and dispossession. It also examines the provision of groups who have known no other homeland yet are endemically discriminated against, such as the Roma.

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Minority elderly health and social care in Europe: summary findings of the minority elderly care (MEC) project

PATEL Naina, (ed.)
Policy Research Institute on Ageing and Ethnicity
Publication year:
Place of publication:

This report, using data from the United Kingdom, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Finland, Hungary, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Switzerland, is designed to inform and help plan the nature and direction of provision of health and social care services in the years to come. The project has the explicit intention of seeking to draw attention to the needs of minority ethnic (ME) elders and thereby improve the provision of services for them throughout Europe. Key findings showed that family was very important to ME elders in all countries and not surprisingly, most elders preferred to be looked after by their family in their own home. It is apparent that in every country there were significant proportions of ME elders on low incomes which were substantially less than the average incomes for elderly in the country concerned. In all countries there were quite significant proportions who described their general health as poor or very poor and these elders needed more medical treatment. The use of different health and social care services is not uniform across the different ethnic groups and countries. While each country has its own systems and procedures it is apparent that in all countries there are some elders who are failing to gain access to services. There are several things an organisation can do to help ME elders to overcome barriers and gain access to services. For example, information can be provided in appropriate languages, staff can be given training in culture-specific care, or new services may be designed specifically to meet the needs of different ME groups. The report makes several recommendations including the provision of clear information about the rights of the individual in accessing and using health and social care services and in different formats and languages. Adopt a person centred approach to patients and service users. Recognise that certain ethnic groups face particularly strong access barriers. Each of the issues is described in detail for each country included in the report.

Journal article

The prevalence of mistreatment among the elderly with mental disorders in primary health care settings

RACIC Maja, et al
Journal article citation:
Journal of Adult Protection, 8(4), December 2006, pp.20-24.

Elder mistreatment is a medical and social problem that is often under-recognised by primary care physicians. This study aimed to estimate the prevalence of elder mistreatment among elderly patients with mental disorders (depression, early dementia and anxiety disorders) in Bosnia and Herzegovina. One-hundred-and-eighty-four patients with different mental disorders were asked to complete the EAST questionnaire as part of a comprehensive geriatric assessment. Screening results were evaluated, and patients who had responses associated with 'mistreatment' were invited back to the clinics for additional clinical evaluation. Different types of mistreatment were identified in 71% of all patients. This led to a conclusion that screening for elderly mistreatment should be part of the routine health assessment for all older persons and part of a comprehensive geriatric assessment.

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