What is elder abuse?

Elder abuse is not only physical or psychological. It also includes neglect, financial exploitation and sexual abuse.

Forms of elder abuse

Elder abuse is not only physical (striking or kicking someone) or psychological (verbal abuse, isolation). It also includes:

  • Financial exploitation
    Theft, changes to the will, unsolicited interference in financial affairs.
  • Neglect
    Failure to provide sufficient nourishment, or physical or psychological care.
  • Sexual abuse
    Unwanted sexual acts with or in the presence of an elderly person.

Elder abuse in the home and in residential care

Elder abuse can occur in the home and in residential care. In a domestic setting the abusive person may be a partner, ex-partner, relative or friend. This is a form of domestic violence. In care institutions, elderly residents are sometimes abused by professional carers.

Causes of elder abuse

Abuse may be intentional, but this is not always the case. Sometimes people are simply no longer able to cope with caring for a relative (informal care), resident or patient. That is when things can go wrong.