Skip NavigationMenu

- Glossary Term -

Elder Abuse

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 older adult. The specificity of laws varies from state to state. Types of elder abuse may include

Physical Abuse—Inflicting, or threatening to inflict, physical pain or injury on a vulnerable elder, or depriving them of a basic need;

Emotional Abuse—Inflicting mental pain, anguish or distress on an elder person through verbal or nonverbal acts;

Sexual Abuse—Non-consensual sexual contact of any kind;

Exploitation—Illegal taking, misuse, or concealment of funds, property or assets of a vulnerable elder; Neglect—Refusal or failure by those responsible to provide food, shelter, health care or protection for a vulnerable elder;

Abandonment—The desertion of a vulnerable elder by anyone who has assumed the responsibility for care or custody of that person. The specificity of laws varies from state to state. (See National Center on Elder Abuse.)

Search the Glossary