Understanding Elder Abuse

Industry Observer with Retired

Understanding Elder Abuse

ActiveRain blogger Brian England posted a blog about Elder Abuse Awareness. It is an important topic for many seniors and their families.

According to the National Council on Aging (NCOA), about 1 in 10 Americans aged 60 or older have suffered from at least one type of elder abuse. The National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA) breaks elder abuse down into 7 different types. Knowing the types of elder abuse can help you protect older adults — especially those living in nursing homes.

When someone with power over an elderly person intentionally harms them or puts them at risk of harm, their actions — or lack of action — are considered elder abuse. Elder abuse isn’t just one action or inaction and it can take many forms.

The 7 types of elder abuse are:

  1. Neglect
  2. Physical abuse
  3. Sexual abuse
  4. Abandonment
  5. Emotional or psychological abuse
  6. Financial abuse
  7. Self-neglect

All types of elder abuse can lead to devastating consequences, including physical and/or emotional harm and even death.

It is key for older people and their loved ones to know about all elder abuse types. They can use this knowledge to prevent abuse from happening or stop it before severe harm occurs.

Take action if you or a loved one suffered abuse or neglect in a nursing home. Get started with a free case review.

Quick Facts About Elder Abuse Types

  • The types of elder abuse go beyond physical and emotional harm. Elders can suffer from sexual assaults, financial exploitation, abandonment, and more.
  • Most types of elder abuse are committed by trusted individuals, like family or nursing home staff.
  • Elders can sometimes mistreat themselves through self-neglect.
  • According to the NCOA, elders are more likely to self-report financial exploitation than emotional abuse, physical abuse, sexual abuse, or neglect.
  • Psychological abuse is the most common type of elder abuse, according to the NCEA.   Types of Elder Abuse


Chrysanthemum, Kentlands Photowalk, Gaithersburg, Maryland USA IMG 6912
Canon PowerShot G11 Camera
Photograph by Roy Kelley
Roy and Dolores Kelley Photographs

Posted by

Roy Kelley, Retired, Former Associate Broker, RE/MAX Realty Group

Gaithersburg, Maryland  

Comments (16)

Cathy Criado
Criado Realty - San Antonio, TX
Making Real Estate Profitable

I think this is a reblog. Its a great topic to do so. Thanks for sharing!! 

Nov 27, 2022 12:22 PM
Aura Alex
Seattle, WA
Retired Real Estate Pro

Hi, Roy. I live in a senior community, and often I see "potential" senior abuse. In our state, WA, the law requires that all caregiver licensees taking care of an elderly (considered a "Vulnerable adult") when they see something that indicates abuse, there is a mandatory report they are required to notify various agencies handling specific types of complaints or reports. 

Sometimes the abusers can be someone closest to the elder: spouse, adult children, or close relatives, for example. 

This subject of taking care of the elderly is very dear to me, and sometimes I feel the subject of abusing the elderly has not received the attention it deserves until it happens to you or someone you know.

Nov 27, 2022 12:32 PM
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

Having someone in a care facility that I am responsible for their well being has opened my eyes to a lot of abuse.

Nov 27, 2022 01:41 PM
Greg Mona
West USA Realty - Scottsdale, AZ
Professional Real Estate Representation for YOU!

Thanks for posting, Roy. It is a sad, sad fact of life and it makes me angry and frustrated.

When my dad passed in a care facility, he was only there for a month so it was fairly easy to monitor what went on there. My mom, on the other hand, had in-home care for the last 15 months of her life. It took several tries to get good people to watch over and assist her. Ultimately she was blessed with two different angel caregivers, both of whom we're still in contact with since my mom passed in 2015. 

Nov 27, 2022 01:59 PM
George Souto
George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages - Middletown, CT
Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert

Roy Kelley elderly abuse is a much bigger problem than many people think, so it is good to hear assistance is available.

Nov 27, 2022 03:45 PM
Myrl Jeffcoat
Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Realtor - Retired

This information helps inform the public about the many forms of elder abuse.  

Nov 27, 2022 05:42 PM
Kat Palmiotti
eXp Commercial, Referral Divison - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

Elder abuse is a terrible problem. Getting the word out about what it is, and how to help, is important.

Nov 28, 2022 05:15 AM
Brian England
Ambrose Realty Management LLC - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

Thank you for the mention and I am glad that my post inspired you to provide more information on this very serious issue.

Nov 28, 2022 05:59 AM
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Roy, this is the sad part of our generation, the older generation is just left, no one visits, and then abuse happens.  Just plain sad.

Nov 28, 2022 07:29 AM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

Hi Roy- and what an informative post. I used to place caregivers in South Florida and as Greg Mona said, it's hard to find reliable people for this kind of service. 

Nov 28, 2022 05:51 PM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

Thank you very much for your comments. It is always good to hear from you.

Nov 29, 2022 03:26 PM
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Roy Kelley - Thank you for raising awareness with this post. It is one of the sickest, most horrible things that can happen to the elderly. And it continues... I don't understand and wasn't surprised during the pandemic when so many seniors were locked down, no family, no religious orders to visit. I wondered what went on behind locked doors. 

When my sister put my mom inside one of those horrible places (long before the pandemic), I found out from my niece who didn't know who she was talking to - she thought I was someone else. As soon as I learned, I made a reservation and flew back to where my sister lives who was supposed to be caring for my mom. I never went to my sisters but found a place and just waltzed in without permission and found my mother in bed. The things I saw. What I heard from my mother and her room mate in the next bed made me sick. I called my sister and demanded she be released immediately. I spent the night in the chair and waited until my sister came and released her. It was an ugly sibling rivalry but glad she did the right thing. 

Elder abuse is real. It happens more frequently than people think, even to family members who did not know. 

Nov 29, 2022 10:41 PM