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Elder Abuse

Table of Contents


What is elder abuse?

Elder abuse is the mistreatment of an older person. It can be physical abuse, emotional abuse, or neglect. The person who does it may be a caregiver, a family member, a spouse, or a friend.

Elder abuse can include:

What are the signs of abuse?

Signs of elder abuse depend on the type of abuse. If the person is seriously injured, get treatment right away.

Signs of violence may include:

Signs of possible sexual abuse include:

Emotional or psychological abuse is possible if the older person:

Signs of neglect may include:

Signs of abandonment include leaving an older person at a shopping center, a park, or another public location.

Signs of financial abuse include:

What factors can make abuse more likely?

Many things can contribute to elder abuse. Risk factors include:

How can you get help?

If you are worried that someone you know might be a victim of elder abuse, talk to your doctor. Ask the doctor what to look for, what the risks are, and what help is available.

To report elder abuse or to get help, call Adult Protection Services (APS) in your state.

Credits for Elder Abuse

Current as of: June 24, 2023

Author: Healthwise Staff (
Clinical Review Board (
All Healthwise education is reviewed by a team that includes physicians, nurses, advanced practitioners, registered dieticians, and other healthcare professionals.

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