Drawing on wisdom from the past: an elder abuse intervention with tribal communities

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Peer Reviewed


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PURPOSE: The Family Care Conference (FCC) is an elder-focused, family-centered, community-based intervention for the prevention and mitigation of elder abuse. It is based on a family conference intervention developed by the Maori people of New Zealand, who determined that Western European ways of working with child welfare issues were undermining such family values as the definition and meaning of family, the importance of spirituality, the use of ritual, and the value of non-interference. The FCC provides the opportunity for family members to come together to discuss and develop a plan for the well-being of their elders.

DESIGN AND METHODS: Using a community-based participatory research approach, investigators piloted and implemented the FCC in one northwestern Native American community. The delivery of the FCC intervention has grown from having been introduced and facilitated by the researchers, to training community members to facilitate the family meetings, to becoming incorporated into a Tribal agency, which will oversee the implementation of the FCC.

RESULTS: To date, families have accepted and appreciated the FCC intervention. The constructive approach of the FCC process helps to bring focus to families' concerns and aligns their efforts toward positive action.

IMPLICATIONS: The strength-based FCC provides a culturally anchored and individualized means of identifying frail Native American elders' needs and finding solutions from family and available community resources.


Aborigines, Community Networks, Elder Abuse -- Prevention and Control, Aged, Funding Source, New Zealand, Quality of Health Care, Human

Published Article/Book Citation

Gerontologist, 47:2 (2007) pp.248-254.

Recommended Citation

Gerontologist. 2007 Apr;47(2):248-254.

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