Domestic Elder Abuse Explained

Domestic Elder Abuse Explained

Domestic elder abuse is similar to other types of individuals responsible Elderly abuse laws recognize any physically, psychologically, or financially harmful behavior as a form of abuse. Elderly abuse laws also acknowledge the particular struggles that elderly individuals face that often make them vulnerable to violence and exploitation. In many cases, victims of domestic elder abuse are completely dependent upon the individual that is subjecting them to abuse.

The victim may require the care and the support of the perpetrator on a regular basis. For example, the offender may provide the victim with necessities, such as food, clothing, transportation, as well as access to medication and financial funds. The victim may not have the ability to escape his/her abusive environment, as he/she is unable to transport himself/herself. Likewise, a victim of domestic elder abuse may be extremely confused and unsure about the situation that he/she is in.

He/she many not fully understand the abuse that he/she is being subjected to. As a result of the physical abuse that he/she is subjected to, a victim often experiences embarrassment, fear, and depression, which makes it difficult to talk about the abuse that he/she is experiencing. As for psychological domestic elder abuse, it may manifest in many different ways.

An offender may be outright mean to the victim, embarrassing, humiliating and degrading him/her. Other instances of psychological abuse occur when an elderly individual is ignored and disregarded, as if his/her desires, opinions, and ideas were unimportant, as well as when an elder is spoken to or treated like a child.

Elderly abuse laws recognize that elders may also be subjected to sexual abuse. As they are often incapable of defending themselves, elderly individuals may be targeted for acts of sexual molestation and assault. This not only includes unwanted sexual groping, but also acts such as undressing in front of an individual, undressing the victim, or making the victim observe sexual acts.

Elderly abuse laws, too, forbid individuals from improperly or irresponsibly utilizing an elderly individual’s financial resources or property. Yet elders are frequently targeted for this type of exploitation. This is especially true when he/she is suffering from disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

An individual can petition a court to become an elder’s legal guardian, and if granted, he/she will not only become responsible for the elder’s health care, but the petitioner will also receive access to the ward’s funds. Although elderly abuse laws do not permit guardians to utilize an individual’s finances unless it is to directly benefit the ward, many individuals take advantage of their power and utilize their authority to make personal purchases. 

What Are The Ways Elderly Neglect Occurs

What Are The Ways Elderly Neglect Occurs

The statistics related to
elder neglect and abuse are similar to the statistics on child abuse and neglect.
Elderly neglect is the most common type of domestic elder abuse to which the elderly are subjected. Elder
neglect occurs when an elderly individual is not provided with access to the
necessities required in order to live a happy and healthy life. Elderly neglect
can be physical or psychological in nature, and may have severe consequences
for a victim’s long-term physical and emotional health.

If physical neglect
occurs for an extended period of time, it may even result in death. In most
cases, the individuals responsible for elder neglect are family members or
caretakers entrusted with providing the victim with the necessary care and
support. However, these individuals have unjustifiably failed to comply with
their responsibility, resulting in harm to the victim.

Elderly neglect may occur in a variety of different ways. One of the most
noticeable forms of abuse is physical neglect. This type of elder neglect
occurs when an individual is not provided with access to basic and fundamental
necessities, such as food and water. If an individual is not provided with
adequate quantities of these resources, he/she may suffer from malnutrition.

Unsubstantial levels of essential vitamins and minerals may decrease immune
system responses, increasing vulnerability to serious illness and disease.
Malnutrition will eventually result in starvation and, if the issue is not
addressed, the victim will die. Likewise, if an individual does not have access
to necessary quantities of water, he/she will become severely dehydrated. This
may also result in serious illness and death. If a care take fails to address
an individual’s personal hygiene, this additionally is a type of neglect.

equally adverse form of elderly neglect is medical neglect. Medical neglect
occurs when an individual is denied access to essential medical attention. If a
victim does not receive treatment for illnesses or injury, the severity of
these conditions may increase. If illnesses are left untreated, again, it may
result in the death of the victim. Likewise, if an elder is not supplied with
essential medication, such as blood pressure medication, the consequences to
his/her health may be serious ones.

Elderly individuals are often subjected to psychological elder neglect. This
type of abuse occurs when an individual is frequently humiliated, demeaned, or
insulted. This behavior may cause a victim to develop deleterious psychological
conditions, including depression and low self-esteem. A victim of abuse and
neglect may experience physical or emotional abandonment, occurring when an
individual withholds affection from a victim.

Speaking to an elderly individual
as if he/she is not capable of understanding the conversation or treating
him/her like a child are also behaviors that constitute elderly neglect.
Disregarding an individual’s wishes, desires, and ideas and ignoring him/her is
harmful to an individual’s psychological and emotional well being, no matter
how old he/she is. Family members and caretakers are not the only individuals
that subject elderly individuals to neglect. Elders are often responsible for

Due to depression, immobility, inability, or just due to lack of
caring, elders may fail to provide themselves with essential necessities,
including food, clothing, proper shelter, and medical care, as well as proper
personal hygiene. Self-neglect is potentially just as detrimental as neglect at
the hands of others.

Quick Background to Elder Abuse

Quick Background to Elder Abuse


Next to young children, elderly individuals comprise the most vulnerable portion of the population. Although people should assume the responsibility of protecting these individuals, elders are commonly subjected to elder abuse. Elder abuse may encompass a wide range of harmful behavior, including physical brutality, emotional torment, sexual assault, and financial exploitation. Elder abuse law prohibits any behavior that is physically, emotionally, or financially damaging to an elderly individual. Nevertheless, elder abuse statistics indicate that hundreds of thousands of elders are subjected to these harmful practices every year. Despite its prevalence, most people know little about elder abuse and the devastating effects that it may have upon victims. The facts surrounding elder abuse are often troubling and shocking. However, it may be advantageous for an individual to arm himself/herself with knowledge regarding senior mistreatment and elder abuse law, especially if he/she has an elderly loved one. Contact an elder abuse lawyer for legal advice and assistance.

Although elder abuse law punishes any form of senior maltreatment severely, this type of abuse continues to be widespread throughout the United States. Any individual may be a potential abuser and it is often unsuspected individuals who are at fault. In most cases, individuals that are responsible for subjecting an elder to harmful mistreatment are the victim’s children or are related to the victim in some other way. In situations such as this, the said abuse constitutes domestic violence, as it is inflicted by a family member and usually occurs within the victim’s home. Individuals should be wary when leaving an elderly loved one in the care of a nursing home, as a substantial portion of abuse cases occur in these facilities. It is important to understand that abuse does not only occur when an offender partakes in violent, damaging, or harmful behavior. Elder abuse law also recognizes neglect as a potentially fatal form of abuse, in which a perpetrator fails to provide an elder with the basic and essential resources necessary to survive. It is often difficult to understand how anyone could subject vulnerable and often defenseless individuals to this type of behavior. Many organizations struggle with the same consideration and have taken measures to help prevent elder abuse.

Elder abuse law has taken measures to prohibit individuals from inflicting abuse upon elderly individuals; however, if the public is unaware of this legislation, as well as the prevalence of elder abuse, little can be done to prevent this behavior. Like all individuals, elders maintain the right to live without being subjected to abuse or exploitation. In order to help ensure that these rights are upheld, organizations such as the National Center on Elder Abuse have developed education programs in order to help increase public awareness about this matter. Through these programs, the organization seeks to inform the public of the risk factors, warning signs, and effects of elder abuse, thereby decreasing its prevalence. If more people understand how to recognize this abuse, more people will have the ability to take the proper measures to stop it. Therefore, it is important for individuals to familiarize themselves with this behavior, so that they may acquire the tools necessary to prevent further suffering of a vulnerable individual.

What Are The Rights of the Elderly

What Are The Rights of the Elderly

Like all people, the elderly have certain rights and privileges that are outlined by United States legislation. For example, elderly rights prohibit an individual from subjecting an elder to Hundreds of thousands of elders are subjected to elderly abuse every year. Elder abuse law violations include offensive behavior such as beating, taunting, threatening, molesting, or exploiting an elder.

Elder abuse law has designated elderly rights transgressions to be criminal and illicit activity, punishable by hefty fines or imprisonment. The Older Americans Act is an elder abuse law that seeks to provide federal funding to research and projects related to aging, and is specifically focused on developing and improving social services and community planning for elders.

The Vulnerable Elder Rights Protection Program is another elderly abuse law effected to increase awareness about the prevalence of elder abuse and advocate for elderly rights. The Program also conducts federal funding to states, in order to encourage them to develop services dedicated to assisting elders. This legislation that seeks to maintain elderly rights is similar to the child abuse laws that prohibit individuals from subjecting children to physical harm or emotional damage.

In order to help ensure elderly rights are maintained, judicial officials often punish elderly abuse harshly. The punishment assessed for elder abuse varies a great deal from one state to another. Because each state maintains the ability to establish its own laws, one state government may exact a relatively benign punishment upon an individual convicted of elder abuse, while other states may impose a much more severe sentence upon the offender.

In some states, elder abuse law perceives the maltreatment of an elderly individual as a misdemeanor, while other states punish this behavior as a felony. Depending upon the severity of the charge that is imposed, an offender may be required to spend numerous years in prison as punishment for his/her behavior.

Individuals maintain fundamental rights regardless of their age. Violating these rights is a breach of the United States Constitution and federal legislation, and if caught, a perpetrator will face certain legal consequences. 

National Center on Elder Abuse

National Center on Elder Abuse

In 1988, the United States Administration on Aging established the National Center on Elder Abuse to act as a resource center for information related to elder abuse and maltreatment. The Center has a storied history of elderly rights advocacy, and today, it continues to conduct thorough research in order to develop new and effective ways to prevent elder abuse.

Through this research, the National Center on Elder Abuse seeks to identify and promote successful methods of responding to and stopping cases of elder maltreatment. It assists in training authorities in the proper techniques of elder abuse response and advocates national encouragement of respect and dignity towards elders.

The Center focuses on increasing public elder abuse awareness and enlightening people about the devastating effects of elder abuse. Through these endeavors, the National Center on Elder Abuse hopes to decrease the occurrence of elder abuse in the United States, as well as provide victims of elder maltreatment with the assistance they require to successfully overcome the trauma they have experienced.

Many different partners and experts in the field of elder abuse and maltreatment work with the National Center on Elder Abuse in order to increase elder abuse awareness and compile helpful information on all aspects of elder maltreatment. The Center has established a central location to exhibit information related to all aspects of elder abuse.

By visiting the Center online, an individual can find information related to the different types of elder abuse, the effects of this maltreatment, the individuals who are most commonly responsible for this behavior and the risk factors that increase the likelihood that elder abuse will occur. By making this information available to the public, the Center is effectively increasing elder abuse awareness.

The National Center on Elder Abuse has created a periodic newsletter that they distribute to individuals across the country. This newsletter provides readers with information regarding new developments in the prevention of elder abuse. The organization also has a large online database of publications that analyze and explain a wide range of topics related to elder law.

By taking the time to explore this database, an individual can find publications on subjects including caregivers, legal guardians, financial exploitation, and victim services, just to name a few. The Center has also been involved in various coalitions, in which numerous elder abuse awareness and prevention organizations have come together with the common goal of combating elder abuse. In all, the National Center on Elder Abuse has experienced success advocating for elder rights and continues to develop new initiatives to increase elder abuse awareness.

Elder Abuse Explained

Elder Abuse Explained


Elder abuse is a widespread problem throughout the United States. Any elderly individual may be subjected to this harmful behavior, and it is often the people who are entrusted to care for elders who are responsible for inflicting this abuse. Elder abuse may have extremely adverse effects on an elder's physical and psychological well-being. In many cases, physical violence results in severe injury to a victim of this type of abuse.

Common injuries associated with physical violence include bruises, lacerations, and broken bones. The emotional effects of elder abuse are often just as painful as the physical effect and they endure for a longer period of time. All forms of elder abuse are illegal and individuals who are responsible for this behavior will be subject to legal action.


Regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, or sex, elderly individuals are at risk of suffering from some form of abuse. Elder abuse may be physical, sexual, psychological, or financial in nature. Next to children, elderly individuals constitute the portion of the population that is most vulnerable to this harmful behavior. In many cases, an elder is not physically capable of guarding themselves against physical attacks by perpetrators.

Likewise, an elder may not have the mental acuteness to understand when he/she is being subjected to financial exploitation. A friend, family member, or legal guardian may take advantage of any mental condition, such as dementia, from which an elder may suffer, in order to gain access to his/her finances and utilize them for personal gain. Often, an elder will be reliant on his/her abuser for necessary support, making it difficult for the victim to escape his/her tormentor.

Potential Abusers

Elder abuse is a troubling occurrence which causes many individuals to question who could possibly be responsible for this horrific behavior. It is often the people who are entrusted to provide support and care to an elder who are responsible for subjecting him/her to harmful acts of abuse. Subsequently, in many cases, the perpetrators are unexpected, and therefore, they may remain undiscovered for a substantial period of time. After all, it may be impossible to discern an offender based upon the way he/she looks, and realistically, anyone may be a potential elder abuser.

In most cases, it is a family member who inflicts abuse upon an elder, specifically the elder's adult children. However, unrelated primary caretakers are also commonly responsible for abuse. An elder may suffer from abuse within his/her home, in a hospital, or in a nursing home. Due to the fact that elder abuse is unpredictable, it is advantageous for an individual to become familiar with the warning signs associated with abuse, so that he/she may be better prepared to protect his/her loved one. Contact an elder abuse lawyer for legal advice and assistance.


Many individuals fail to recognize neglect as a devastating form of elder abuse. Neglect may be extremely harmful to a victim of this behavior, as he/she will not be provided with certain necessities. Unlike abuse, neglect does not involve the execution of an action. Instead, it occurs when an individual fails to take part in a necessary and mandatory action of care. Neglect may be physical, emotional, medical, or financial in nature.

An individual may fail to provide a dependent elder with access to basic essential resources, including food and water. Disregarding medical conditions that require treatment is another harmful form of neglect. If an individual does not provide an elder with the support or attention that is required, then he/she is guilty of neglect. It should be noted neglect may also be self-imposed, as an elderly individual often does not maintain the physical ability or the desire to care for himself/herself. 

Elder Abuse Statistics

The statistics available regarding the prevalence of elder abuse are minimal and incomplete. However, based upon the data that has been collected and educated estimates, we are provided with a dim picture of elder abuse in the United States. The collected information indicates that well over one million elders throughout the country have been subjected to some type of elder abuse.

Many more have been the victims of financial exploitation and fraud. Despite the extensive scope of abuse that is predicted by statistics, it is estimated that the actual occurrences of elder abuse are actually much higher than these statistics indicate, as the majority of elder abuse cases remain unreported. Despite the lack of concentration afforded to the collection of elder abuse statistics, becoming familiar with the available data may help an individual to gain an understanding of the prevalence of this harmful behavior. 

Rights of the Elderly 

Every individual within the United States maintains specified rights and liberties which are granted by the Constitution. An individual has the right to live free of abuse, regardless of his/her age, race, sex, or ethnicity. Elderly individuals, like all other people, also maintain these fundamental rights. An elder maintains the right to persist without being subjected to physical violence or emotional degradation.

An individual who is responsible for violating the laws that provide elders these rights will be subject to legal repercussions for his/her behavior. Due to the fact elderly individuals are often vulnerable to various forms of abuse, some would argue it is essential that crimes against these individuals be punished severely, with the hope of deterring other individuals from engaging in similar behavior, and with the intent to punish an individual who is responsible for these crimes. In order to achieve this, judicial officials often punish offenses against the elderly harshly. 

Elder Abuse Prevention 

Preventing elder abuse does not necessarily require an extensive group effort, as this goal can be accomplished on an individual basis. Becoming familiar with the causes, warning signs, risk factors, and effects of elder abuse will provide individuals with the tools that are necessary to prevent elder abuse from occurring.

Armed with the right information, an individual will be better able to recognize abuse when it is occurring, and therefore, he/she will be able to report elder maltreatment to the appropriate authorities, who can then take measures to end this behavior. Though organizations are initiating large scale efforts to prevent elder abuse through educational programs, every individual has the power to assist with abuse prevention by understanding basic features of this behavior. 

National Center on Elder Abuse

The National Center on Elder Abuse is a nationally recognized organization dedicated to preventing abuse against elders. This organization seeks to raise public awareness about elder abuse by establishing effective educational programs. The Center has developed numerous publications with the intention of spreading information about elder abuse, and recognizes the importance of informing the public about all aspects of elder abuse, including the causes, effects, warning signs, and risk factors associated with this behavior.

If the public is not informed about how to recognize elder abuse, they will not possess the necessary tools to stop abuse and exploitation from occurring. Through newsletters, publications, and educational programs, the National Center on Elder Abuse has made substantial progress in increasing elder abuse awareness.

Understanding Elder Abuse Prevention

Understanding Elder Abuse Prevention


Just as all other people maintain basic rights, elderly individuals also have fundamental rights. Subjecting an elder to abuse or neglect is a violation of these rights. Therefore, it is essential that effective methods of elder abuse prevention be developed. Preventing elder abuse is necessary to ensure that elderly individuals are treated with the respect and the dignity that they deserve.

In order to establish successful elder abuse prevention techniques, it is important for the public to to acknowledge the prevalence of this injurious behavior. The key to preventing elder abuse is to know elder law, increase public knowledge and gain public support. If individuals are unaware of the frequency of elder maltreatment, then they will not expect to witness it, or may witness it and not know it

 Increasing knowledge of the risk factors and warning signs associated with this behavior will assist individuals with preventing elder abuse. If people are aware of how to recognize this form of maltreatment, they will be able to effectively complete the step to report elder abuse. Circulating information regarding the proper authorities to contact in to report elder mistreatment would undoubtedly improve elder abuse prevention efforts.

The National Committee on the Prevention of Elder Abuse is a non profit organization focused on improving elder abuse prevention techniques and eradicating all forms of cruelty against elders. 

The Committee employs a variety of techniques in hopes of preventing elder abuse, seeking to advance elder abuse prevention procedures through educational programs, research, and advocacy. In order to improve upon current methods of intervention and prevention, it is essential to conduct research, and compile data and information about this troubling topic.

Understanding what causes this behavior and the risk factors that increase the likelihood of elder abuse, is necessary in order to protect victims from this type of maltreatment. The Committee also seeks to encourage professionals to share information amongst themselves. Taking this a step further, preventing elder abuse is not the only aspect of the protection of seniors that must be addressed and improved.

Indeed, not all cases of elder maltreatment are prevented and in these instances, it is important for there to be effective response protocols in place. Victims of elder abuse often sustain severe physical and psychological damage due to the trauma that they have faced. Therefore, it is important to ensure that cases of suspected abuse are responded to immediately and appropriately. If the proper authorities fail to respond to a case of maltreatment, the abuse may cause extensive emotional and physical harm to the victim or even death.