The Yale Daily News had an incredible article about a new tool to prevent and deter abuse and neglect. Yale researchers developed VOICES, a web-based app to identify elder abuse. VOICES is a digital medical screening tool that utilizes multimedia presentations to empower older adults. The app asks a series of voiceover questions, prompting the patient to reflect on their own experiences. If the app identifies the user as a victim, a final module urges the user to seek help.
In the United States, at least 5 to 10 percent of older adults are victims of elder abuse. However, only one in 24 cases are ever identified. Primary care providers often fail to identify cases without visible signs of abuse.
A number of factors contribute to the underreporting of elder abuse. The lack of efficient screening mechanisms. The hesitancy to come forward. Many fear the loss of autonomy. VOICES brings older adults into the process and allows them to be in control of their circumstances. VOICES will continue to expand and the researchers aim to include more geriatric care facilities as the study continues.