chapter  56
6 Pages

Elderly Offenders

WithGraeme A. Yorston

The populations of developed countries have been steadily aging over the past 50 years, and this process is set to continue for some time. Though older people are more likely to be the victims of crime than the perpetrators, a small proportion of older people do commit crimes. Older offenders deserve special consideration by forensic psychiatric services because the mental disorders of late life, the environments older people live in, and the social issues affecting older people can be significantly different from those of younger adults, and meaningful risk assessment and management must take account of these differences. The age at which somebody becomes “older” is debatable, and it is better to consider age-related needs arising from neurodegenerative disorders, multiple physical comorbidities and life-cycle events than chronological age alone.