MULTIDISCIPLINARY PROJECT WILL EXAMINE ABUSE IN SENIOR CITIZENS

ACADEMICS FROM THE DEPARTMENTS OF LAW AND SOCIAL SCIENCES AND ECONOMY AND BUSINESS ARE PART OF THE TEAM IN CHARGE OF THE PROPOSAL PRIORITIZED BY THE FONDEF.



Decembre 9, 2016

"The Structural Abuse to the Elderly in Chile: a Formulation for a Multidimensional Index" is the name of a project presented by a multidisciplinary team of researchers that won the first IDEA contest of the Fund to Promote Scientific and Technological Development (Fondef) of Conicyt, focused on developing research on quality of life for this segment of the population.
 
 
The project is directed by the academic from the Department of Law and Social Sciences, Carolina Riveros, and the deputy director in charge is Patricia Rodríguez, from the Department of Economy and Business (FEN). Also in the team are Professors Rodrigo Palomo, Maria de los Angeles Fernández and Francisco Maldonado, from the Department of Law and Social Sciences, and academics Sandra Alvear and Carlos Villalobos, from the FEN.
 
101 projects were presented to the contest from academic institutions throughout the country, of which the initiative from the UTALCA obtained the highest score, placing it in the first place.
 
 
"The multidisciplinary approach addressed in the methodology, as well as the definition of structural abuse, lacks and its various dimensions, make this project a highly recommended proposal for approval," concluded the evaluation committee that also described it as "innovative and relevant to the development of public policies towards the elderly."
 
 
The study will be carried out with the collaboration of the Gerontology Center of the University of Heidelberg, the Center for Bioethics, at the University of Mannheim-Heidelberg and the University of Göttingen, all in Germany, and from the University of Manchester, England.
 
Carolina Riveros explained that the research is based on the fact that in our country the legal, economic and social systems “encourage the systematic violence exerted against older people."
 
 
"For example, by law there is a minimum wage for workers, and even if the amount is still low, it is even lower for the elderly. Then we are faced with a discrimination which is not justified, that comes from the State itself and that we can also identify in several other levels", she said.
 
 
He added that the work of the team will enable the country to count for the first time with an indicator that helps to identify the level of vulnerability faced by each one of these people. "We will generate a tool called Multidimensional Index of Abuse of Older Adults (IMMAM), which will help to measure the phenomenon of structural abuse to contribute to improve the qualitative and quantitative planning of public policies, as well as allowing its evolution through the application of this tool," she said.
 
For her part, Professor Rodriguez highlighted the multidisciplinary nature of the researchers involved. "Already since the design stage of the project different expertise came together that led to the construction of a solid proposal which, we are sure, will have a major impact, as it exits the traditional approach for this type of research, most of it concerned with the Health field. We go further and make an analysis that involves the abuse from the financial and legal point of view", she commented.
  
 
"To do this, two Departments, Legal and Social Sciences and the Department of Economics and Business, will join to promote a multidisciplinary work, in line with what international academic institutions do", she added.
 
In addition, Professor Rodríguez stressed that the awarding of this initiative strengthens the objective that was expressed when the Santiago Campus was opened, making it a center for the study of the Social Sciences. "It promotes the Campus, because the project is defined and is anchored at this facility", she said.
 
Likewise, Professor Villalobos said that this project differed from others since that "it was the only one to formulate an indicator of abuse that diagnoses the state and evolution of the welfare condition of the older adults at the communal level. In this sense, we tackle the problem on the basis of micro data to generate a real change in the area of public policies for the elderly".



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