eFit – HCP: Abuse

Abuse is any action or inaction that threatens the health or wellbeing of an older adult. Some people call it elder abuse, senior abuse or abuse of older adults. All abuse is an abuse of power and a violation of trust in a relationship. The harm can be physical, emotional, financial, sexual, or involve some other breach of a person’s rights and freedoms. Neglect is also a form of abuse.

The abused person may or may not realize that their rights have been violated. The person causing the harm may or may not know that their action or inaction is abusive. Bystanders might suspect something is wrong yet be unwilling to get involved or unsure about what to do.

Abuse can happen to anyone at any age. It is a myth that abuse only happens to dependent, frail older adults. Abuse often happens to capable, fully functioning older adults. People are usually ashamed to find themselves in an abusive relationship. They might ask themselves: How did this happen to me? How did I get here?  (

Brief Abuse Screen for the Elderly (BASE):
Link

CGA Elder Assessment Instrument (EAI):
Link

Elder Abuse Suspicion Index (EASI):
Link

Hwalek-Sengstock Elder Abuse Screening Test (H-S/EAST):   
Instructions
    eForm    Print Form

Abuse of Older Adults (Ontario Provincial Police):
Tip Sheet
Elder Abuse (World Health Organization):
Fact Sheet
Elder Abuse: Assessment and Intervention Reference Guide (National Initiative for the Care of the Elderly):
Guide
Elder Abuse & Neglect: In Search of Solutions (American Psychological Association):
Brochure
Preventing and Addressing Elder Abuse (Health in Aging Foundation):
Tip Sheet
RNAO: Preventing and Addressing Abuse and Neglect of Older Adults (Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario):
Guideline

Reading List: Abuse & Neglect of Older Adults

Aboriginal Elder Abuse in Canada (Aboriginal Healing Foundation):
Study
Abuse Among Older LGBTQ Adults: Barriers and Opportunities for Support (Sagelink):
Presentation
Crime and Abuse Against Seniors: A Review of the Research Literature With Special Reference to the Canadian Situation (Department of Justice):
Government Review
Know Your Rights: Protecting the Human Rights of Seniors (Elder Abuse Prevention Ontario):
Website Resource
Screening Tools for Elder Abuse: Evaluation and Implementation in Ireland (National Centre for the Protection of Older People):
Presentation
The Grandmother Spirit Project: Safety and Well-being for Senior Aboriginal Women (National Women’s Association of Canada):
Resource Booklet
What Every Older Canadian Should Know About Financial Abuse (Federal/Provincial/Territorial Ministers Responsible for Seniors):
Brochure

View the CSAH Lesson on Abuse


View CSAH Courses for HCP: Caring for the Older Adult

This series of courses provides a foundation for understanding, recognizing, assessing and managing health care concerns in the older adult.  Each Lesson includes short narrated modules that focus on these four themes.

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We share aging-related courses and archived content offered by other leaders in the field of geriatric care.