Abuse of older adults is an action, or lack of action, that causes harm or distress to an older adult. Abuse can come in many forms:

Financial abuse – stealing or misusing money or property
Physical abuse – causing physical pain or injury
Sexual abuse – sexual contact or communication without consent
Emotional abuse – causing mental distress, fear of violence or isolation
Neglect – not providing basic necessities
Violation of rights – ignoring basic rights and freedoms
Systemic abuse – rules or policies discriminating against older adults

Elder abuse can be hard to recognize because some signs of abuse can appear to be symptoms of a person’s dementia or mental decline. It is important to be aware of the signs so that the right help can be sought when needed.

What will you learn?

At the end of this overview on Abuse and Neglect, you will be able to answer:

  • What is elder abuse?
  • What are the types of elder abuse?
  • Who abuses older adults and why?
  • What are the signs of abuse?
  • How is abuse reported?


View Lesson Module: Abuse & Neglect