Knowing The Various Forms of Elder Abuse

Elder abuse is a very concerning problem across the United States because it is not only very serious, but often times hard to detect. The Administration on Aging defines elder abuse as any knowing, intentional, or negligent act by a caregiver or any other person that causes harm or a serious risk of harm to a vulnerable adult. If your loved one is in nursing care or assisted living, or you are considering making the step, it is

Older Elderly sister looking down - bangkok

Older Elderly sister looking down – bangkok (Photo credit: Sailing “Footprints: Real to Reel” (Ronn ashore))

critically important to know and be able to detect the various forms of abuse or neglect.

Types of elder abuse or neglect include:

  • Physical abuse or neglect (this includes physical assaults, ignoring a patient’s physical or medical needs, or inadequate care).
  • Mental or emotional abuse or neglect (verbal abuse, harassment, “silent treatment” or  neglected of mental and emotional needs)
  • Financial abuse or neglect of abuse (missing valuables, suspicious financial activity or unpaid bills)
  • Sexual abuse or neglect of abuse (nonconsensual contact of any kind)

Tragically, elder abuse goes underreported for a number of reasons. Many times, victims and even their families fear that matters will become worse if they speak out about the problem–many do not consider that they can seek legal support for their injury.


Elder abuse persists in some cases because victims cannot protect themselves or reach out for help. You can protect your loved one by making frequent visits at varying times and building a relationship with staff members. Keep note of suspicious changes such as unexplained weight loss, bruises or abrasions, and emotional detachment or fear. If your suspicions are strong, you may want to consider taking photographs and reaching out to an attorney for support.




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