The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released a new report (PDF) that aims to standardize definitions related to elder abuse in an effort to improve understanding of the prevalence of elder abuse and, ultimately, improve prevention efforts.

Variations in the way data are collected and reported across organizations and agencies “have made it difficult to determine the magnitude of [elder abuse] nationally, to compare the problems across states, counties, and cities, and to establish trends and patterns in the occurrence and experience of [elder abuse],” the authors state.

The report, “Elder Abuse Surveillance: Uniform Definitions and Recommended Core Data Elements, Version 1.0,” is the culmination of a collaboration between the CDC and several elder abuse experts. It will be revised based on user feedback.

The document defines elder abuse, involved parties, physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional/psychological abuse, neglect, financial abuse/exploitation, other related phenomena, and elder abuse circumstances or consequences.

The CDC also has released a fact sheet (PDF) about current elder abuse prevention efforts and resources.