Elder abuse is often defined as any act or lack of action, within a relationship where there is an expectation of trust that harms a senior and causes them distress, risks their health or welfare by taking advantage of their vulnerability based on their age. Elder abuse is violence, mistreatment or neglect towards older adults.
Elder abuse often occurs when there is an imbalance of control. The individual who chooses to be abusive either limits or takes control over the rights and freedoms of the senior. The abuse/violence is used to intimidate, humiliate, coerce, frighten or simply to make the senior feel powerless. The abuse often comes from individuals in situations of power or trust (spouse, children, other family members, caregivers, service providers). The abuse can occur in either in the home, other residential settings or in the community. Elder abuse can take many forms, including neglect, physical, psychological or financial abuse, violation of rights, and abandonment. Factors that play a role in elder abuse include gender, race, level of stress, living arrangements, level of dependence on others, and various psychological factors.
Elder abuse is never acceptable.