Social workers in one multi-ethnic area of UK were interviewed on the subject of elder abuse. They produced a dominant discourse that ignored issues of emancipatory practice relating to diversity and difference (gender and ethnicity) and that oversimplified the complexity of elder abuse cases. They worked in an organisational climate that provided insufficient resources to deal with cases of elder abuse once identified, and that imposed performance indicators that took no account of practical and ethical aspects of the abuse of older women and men. It was rare for a case of elder abuse to have a good outcome, and hence staff were faced with situations (defined as dilemmas) where no decision was likely to benefit the service users. Ethical practice gave way to avoidance of ethical issues and a reliance on guidelines and management aims
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