What is Elder Abuse?

older-woman-smallElder Abuse is most often defined as: “Single or repeated acts, or lack of appropriate action, occurring within a relationship where there is an expectation of trust, which causes harm or distress to an older person.” (World Health Organization, 2002)

If you are experiencing Elder Abuse, you are not alone!

Between 2% and 10% of older adults are abused in some form (Lachs and Pillemer; The Lancet; October 2004; Volume 364; pp 1192-1263) Those who assist abused older adults believe that the rate of abuse is closer to 10%. Elder abuse takes many different forms; it’s as varied and individual as the seniors themselves. What doesn’t change, regardless of the type, is that elder abuse happens far too often and it must be stopped now.

Elder Abuse Can Be:

  • Physical:
    • Slapping, pinching or punching
    • Rough handling
    • Sexual assault
    • Forced confinement
  • Neglect:
    • Inadequate hygiene
    • Administration of medicine (too much or not enough)
    • Not giving medical care
    • Withholding food or water
  • Financial:
    • Dishonest use of money or assets
    • Overcharging for services
    • Misuse of Power of Attorney
  • Psychological:
    • Verbal assaults
    • Humiliation
    • Intimidation
    • Social isolation
    • Being treated as a child

(Source: Halton Regional Police Services, 2010)