Elder abuse is the exploitation or mistreatment of an individual who is at least 60 years old. The abuse can take many forms, and it can be active or passive. Anyone can commit elder abuse, including a family member, a person providing respite care, or even a stranger.

What Is Financial Exploitation of the Elderly?

Financial exploitation of the elderly is the most common form of elder abuse. It occurs when a caretaker or relative misuses, steals or withholds money, values or property from the elderly person.

What Is Physical Elder Abuse?

Physical elder abuse is the use of physical force that causes physical pain, injury, or impairment. It also includes holding the individual against their will through the excessive use or denial of drugs or physical restraints.

Can Elder Abuse Be Psychological or Emotional?

Yes. A person can inflict psychological or emotional abuse if they engage in an act that causes the elderly person anguish, emotional pain, or distress. It includes things like humiliation, harassment, verbal assaults, intimidation, and insults. The abuse may be verbal or non-verbal.

When Is Sexual Abuse Considered to be Elder Abuse?

Sexual abuse is the non-consensual sexual contact with another person. It is considered to be a form of elder abuse when the victim is over 60 years of age. The elderly victim may be incapable of providing consent or too confused to completely comprehend what is happening. Types of elder sexual abuse include:

  • Forced nudity
  • Unwanted touching
  • Part of explicit photographing
  • Sexual assault
  • Sexual battery

Is Neglect a Type of Elder Abuse?

Yes. Neglect occurs when a legal guardian or caretaker fails to provide the basic care needed, such as food, shelter, and personal hygiene.

Is Abandonment Considered Elder Abuse?

Yes. Abandonment happens when a legal guardian or caretaker leaves an elderly individual to take care of themselves. It refers to total desertion of the elderly person, such as:

  • Leaving them at a nursing home where the staff is not taking care of them properly
  • Leaving them at a public place like a shopping mall
  • Leaving them at home to take care of themselves

Should I Contact an Attorney about Elder Abuse?

Elder abuse is a very serious crime, and the court system treats it as such. It is highly recommended that you contact a criminal attorney if you are accused of this crime.