Elder Abuse

Elder Abuse

What is Elder Abuse?

Elder abuse is an intentional act, or failure to act, by a caregiver or another person in a relationship involving an expectation of trust that causes or creates a risk of harm to an older adult. (An older adult is defined as someone age 60 or older.) Forms of elder abuse are below.

Physical Abuse: the intentional use of physical force that results in acute or chronic illness, bodily injury, physical pain, functional impairment, distress, or death.

Sexual Abuse or Abusive Sexual Contact: forced or unwanted sexual interaction (touching and non-touching acts) of any kind with an older adult. These acts also qualify as sexual abuse if they are committed against an incapacitated person who is not competent to give informed approval/consent.

Emotional or Psychological Abuse: verbal or nonverbal behavior that results in the infliction of anguish, mental pain, fear, or distress.

Neglect: failure by a caregiver or other responsible person to protect an elder from harm, or the failure to meet needs for essential medical care, nutrition, hydration, hygiene, clothing, basic activities of daily living or shelter, which results in a serious risk of compromised health and safety.

Financial Abuse or Exploitation: the illegal, unauthorized, or improper use of an older individual’s resources by a caregiver or other person in a trusting relationship, for the benefit of someone other than the older individual. This includes, but is not limited to, depriving an older person of rightful access to, information about, or use of, personal benefits, resources, belongings, or assets.


Red Flags - Does your caregiver, your child, or another person close to you:

  • Yell or make threats towards you
  • Blame you habitually  
  • Make you feel afraid
  • Lock you in a room for days
  • Making you sign checks
  • Steal your belongings
  • Humiliate and ridicule you
  • Hit, kick, shove, or throw you
  • Leave you alone for long periods without food and water
  • Take your money
  • Forcing you to be involved in sexual acts
  • Threatening to hurt your pet

If you answered YES to any of these questions, you can call our confidential, toll-free, 24-hour helpline to speak to an advocate at 1-800-559-2927. 

Our advocates can help you:

  • Recognize the signs of an abusive relationship
  • Provide support and talk to you about resources available in your community
  • Discuss safety planning and your options for protection afforded by the law such as filing a protection from abuse order
  • Explore shelter options if you are unsafe in your current residence

We have experienced staff who understands the problems some elders face when they are being mistreated by people they care about. We will listen and provide you the resources and assistance you need.  We commit to keeping your story and your need for help confidential.