Case 2 – Uncontrolled Blood Pressure and Elder Abuse

You are seeing Mr. Sampson, a 71 year old man, for the first time in 3 years. He says he hasn’t had his blood pressure checked recently and would like you to assess it today. He wanted to come sooner but says he couldn’t. Please take a focused history.


  • Inquires about patient’s well being since last visit
  • Establishes social context – patient lives alone with son
  • Establishes sons’ social context (has recently lost his job, divorced)
  • Inquires about independence regarding finance, health, transportation
  • Inquires about aggression from son
  • Establishes past history of injuries and abusive behavior by son
  • Extent of medical attention sought/needed for past injuries
  • Inquires if son was verbally abusive
  • If son has used weapons to harm patient, or has access to weapons
  • Substance abuse by the son and quantity (abuses alcohol weekly)
  • Assesses patient’s access to health care/medication
  • Asks if patient feels safe at home
  • Whether friends/family are aware of the abuse
  • Emergency plans to escape in the event of further abuse
  • Asks if he has access to financial resources
  • Asks if he would like help from a counselor
  • Asks if he would like support from community resources
  • Asks if he would like legal counseling
  • Addresses patient’s concern about loss of independence and lack of power
Case 2 – Uncontrolled Blood Pressure and Elder Abuse