Many older people are victims of elder abuse. It is the mistreatment of an older person, usually by a caregiver. It can happen within the family. It can also happen in assisted living facilities or nursing homes.
The mistreatment may be
- Physical, sexual, or emotional abuse
- Neglect or abandonment
- Financial abuse - stealing of money or belongings
Possible signs of elder abuse include unexplained bruises, burns, and injuries. There may also be bed sores and poor hygiene. The person may become withdrawn, agitated, and depressed. There may be a sudden change in the person's financial situation.
Elder abuse will not stop on its own. Someone else needs to step in and help. If you think that an older person is in urgent danger, call 9-1-1. Otherwise, contact adult protective services.
NIH: National Institute on Aging
- Elder Abuse (National Institute on Aging) Available in Spanish
- Elder Abuse and Neglect: In Search of Solutions (American Psychological Association)
- Elder Abuse FAQS (Department of Justice)
- Fifteen Questions and Answers about Elder Abuse (National Center on Elder Abuse) - PDF
- Preventing Elder Abuse and Neglect in Older Adults (AGS Foundation for Health in Aging)
- What is Elder Abuse? (Administration on Aging)
Prevention and Risk Factors
- Preventing Elder Abuse by Family Caregivers (National Center on Elder Abuse) - PDF
Statistics and Research
- 2004 Survey of Adult Protective Services: Abuse of Adults 18 Years of Age and Older (National Center on Elder Abuse) - PDF
- ClinicalTrials.gov: Elder Abuse (National Institutes of Health)