Who are you calling old? Measuring 'elderly' and what it means for homicide research

 

Author(s)Addington, Lynn A.
Title Who are you calling old? Measuring 'elderly' and what it means for homicide research
Source Homicide Studies, May 2013, Vol. 17; No. 2; pp 134-153
Date 2013
Document type Journal article
Coverage USA
Summary This study examines the current definitions of 'elderly', noting that despite the lack of consensus the most common definition of elderly is age 65 and above. The U.S. Census uses age 65 and above to define elderly but also uses additional subcategories of 65 to 74 (young old), 75 to 84 (aged) and age 85 and over (oldest old). The author explores using a multiple-category measure of elderly in homicide research to assist in identifying patterns, promoting more nuanced explanations of elderly homicide and supporting target programs and policies. Data for the study is taken from the FBI's Uniform Crime Reporting Program and to compare definitions variables were examined using both a single category of 65 and older and three categories, 65-74, 75-84 and 85 and older. It was found using the multiple categories, for example, that a higher percentage of the oldest old are female, killed by family members and killed by personal contact weapons as compared to young old victims. The additional aim of this study is to start a conversation about the best practices for measuring the elderly population.
Keywords Methodology; victimisation; elderly; policy
Topic

Elder abuse; research methods