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 The person may become withdrawn, agitated, and depressed.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 911. Otherwise, contact adult protective services.
NIH: National Institute on Aging
- Elder Abuse (National Institute on Aging) Also in Spanish
- Elder Abuse FAQS (Department of Justice)
- Elder Abuse: How to Spot Warning Signs, Get Help, and Report Mistreatment (American Psychological Association)
- Preventing Elder Abuse and Neglect in Older Adults (AGS Health in Aging Foundation)
Statistics and Research
- Brain Scans Offer Insights into Loss of Money Skills (National Institute on Aging)
- ClinicalTrials.gov: Elder Abuse (National Institutes of Health)
Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)
Find an Expert
- Find the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program in Your State (National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care)
- National Institute on Aging Also in Spanish