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What are examples of elder abuse?


Question:  What are examples of elder abuse other than the usual physical signs?

Dr. Amy:  No one deserves to be ill treated or abused. Everyone has the right to be treated with dignity and respect. While physical abuse can sometimes be the easiest to spot, elder abuse also includes emotional or psychological abuse, financial abuse, sexual abuse and neglect. Sometimes seniors will report abuse, but often they are embarrassed or ashamed about the abuse and will avoid talking about it. The American Psychological Association has published a comprehensive article on elder abuse.

See: This article outlines the signs to look for in each type of abuse. It also provides details of who you can call for help, including the Eldercare Locator, which is sponsored by the Administration on Aging. If you know the address of the older person who is being abused, the Eldercare Locator can refer you to the appropriate agency to report suspected abuse. Dial: 1-800-677-1116.  Whether you are a senior or a caregiver, I think you will find this article helpful. If you suspect that someone is being abused, or if you feel you are a potential abuser, I encourage you to call for help without delay.

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Thoughts and stories from others
  1. September 3, 2018 at 1:13 am | Posted by Mel Smith

    My 70 v o sister allowed a couple to spend a few days in her home and now they refuse to leave. The police say it is a civil matter and refuse to help. The house where she lives is owned jointly by my sister and me and another sister. We have all asked them to leave but they refuse,saying have established resistance. My sister is very emotionally fragile and has has substance abuse issues in the recent past.These people have taken over her home and are causing great emotional trauma. Any suggestions? Shouldn't the police recognize this form of abuse? Please help


  2. August 22, 2017 at 6:40 am | Posted by James King

    I have in effect and for all practical purposes been denied access to my 2 grandchildren. Vague reasons given include my conservative politics, Such comments as republican, Trump Supporter, Nazi, at one time or another have been used. I am the Paternal Grandfather. The Maternal Grandfather has also been denied access due to his being alcoholic. Are these indications of elder abuse. James


    • August 22, 2017 at 2:25 pm | Posted by Home Instead

      Hi James, thanks for your question. If you feel your situation may be considered a form of elder abuse, you could get in touch with your local Adult Protective Services agency for further investigation. You may find additional information through the National Committee for the Prevention of Elder Abuse:


  3. October 26, 2016 at 12:01 am | Posted by tammy smith

    Valuable analysis . Just to add my thoughts if others are looking for a MI DHS-3200 , my kids filled a blank form here


  4. February 4, 2015 at 2:23 pm | Posted by Jerry Lee

    My mother had a stroke the past year went through intense therapy and recovered quite well, the problem is that previous to her stroke my sister took her to an attorney without my knowledge and had my mother make her sole trustee of her estate and also had my mother give her power of attorney , shortly after her stroke my sister had my mothers physician find her incompetent without so much as even a visit , then my sister asked for me to visit with my mothers attorney to see what we could or couldnt do concerning mothers bank accounts and trust , the attorney instructed my sister to change bank account funds over to the trust an also wants her to file for a tax number for the trust . i am not sure if theyre are changing the trust or what. Since the end of mothers therapy the nursing facility who was doing the secondary therapy has convinced my sister she would need 24/7 care if she went home and would be better off at the nursing home . My sister put her in the nursing home without any input from my mother or myself , i offered to help care for her at her home,mine or both but my sister refused. M mothers doctor had told her she could leave the nursing home to go out to eat or for a drive, etc. so i took my mother out for a drive making sure she got her required medication before signing her out, we were gone about 2 hours and my mother enjoyed herself getting out for the first time in a couple months.After taking her out my sister found out what i did and did not agree with it and then used her P.O.A. to stop me from taking my mother out at anytime. Now my mother wants to go visit with my twin brother who is in a nursing facility after a bad car accident 25 years ago and she doesnt understand why i cant take her. My mother is very intimidated and afraid of my sister and i also do not like her intimidating tone of voice . Please advise me on what to do and if it sounds like abuse who i should call. Thanks, Jerry St Louis, Mo


  5. September 8, 2014 at 1:43 am | Posted by CB

    I am caring for a client who started out with Dementia and worsening into later stage. Working here at work I have noticed same meal is given everyday. Medications are given based on the "daugther's knowledge" and not actual words from the doctor. She's had long term bedsore that are not being reported to the doctor whatsoever. Sugguested ways to hydrate the client but I am told "I have the power of attorney. It is my mother I will care for her the way I feel and want." I couldn't handle this any longer. I noticed a huge depression because of isolating the client to everything. Anything that is done for the client, is not the right way because it is not told by the daughter. I don't know how about handling this. THank You!


  6. November 15, 2013 at 6:39 pm | Posted by GINA

    YES!!!!!!! They are trying to get their hands on her money - they don't care about her!!!!!! Hello - you were caring for her and her feelings!!!!! Do you really think they are going to care where she is for Christmas or any other holiday??? NO NO! Do something about this - get medical rights on her through the courts! They are going to let her shrivel up and die and then split HER money and burry her. sorry for being so blunt! But come on - you should be the one getting the rest of the will - it seems like you were putting her first then whatever was left would go to you - they are just waiting!!!!!!!!! THEY SHOULD BE WALKING AROUND WITH THERE HEADS DOWN IN SHAME!!!!


  7. November 13, 2013 at 1:00 pm | Posted by Kitty Clark

    My story: My Mother is 78 years old. My husband remodeled a home she owned 17 years ago and she has lived next door to us. During this time named me as a Trustee to her trusts and we continued caring for her through heart complications and surgeries. During this time my two younger brothers have had limited contact with her (she ate meals with us, vacationed with us, spent all holidays with us). Abruptly my brothers convinced her that I could not be trusted. I was asked to resign as her trustee, her bank accounts were switched and through false allegations, we became estranged. Her properties were put jointly into my siblings names, to my knowledge she has been transported to 4 different attorney's in the last year. Suddenly, without notice to ANYONE she vacated her home of 15 years (next to me) and moved into a house next door to my brother that she paid cash for. In the brief conversations I have managed to have with her, she is coherent but distant, angry and very secretative. Is this elder abuse?


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