Elder Abuse Definition

What is elder abuse?
Elder abuse is a term referring to 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. The specificity of laws varies from state to state, but broadly defined, abuse may be:
  • Abandonment - The desertion of a vulnerable elder by anyone who has assumed the responsibility for care or custody of that person
  • Emotional Abuse - Inflicting mental pain, anguish, or distress on an elder person through verbal or nonverbal acts
  • 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
  • Physical abuse - Inflicting, or threatening to inflict, physical pain or injury on a vulnerable elder, or depriving them of a basic need
  • Sexual Abuse - Non-consentual sexual contact of any kind