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Forms of elder abuse

Elder abuse is any action or inaction by self or others that jeopardizes the health or well-being of a senior.

Common forms of elder abuse include:

  • financial
  • emotional
  • physical
  • sexual
  • neglect
  • medication

Victims commonly suffer more than one type of abuse at the same time. The most frequently identified and reported types of elder abuse in Canada are financial and emotional.

Any senior can become a victim of elder abuse regardless of gender, sexual identity, race, ethnicity, income or education.

Elder abuse is often committed by someone known to the victim who is in a position of power, trust or authority. Approximately 25% of crimes against seniors are committed by family members, usually a spouse or adult child.


Signs of elder abuse

Social isolation is one of several risk factors in elder abuse situations. A social isolation resource kit is available to help raise awareness and understanding of social isolation.

Like other types of family violence, the dynamics of elder abuse are complex. Elder abuse is often impacted by the mental and physical conditions of both the abuser and the victim. These factors interact in ways uniquely dependent on the individuals involved and the situation.

Common signs of elder abuse:

  • confusion
  • depression or anxiety
  • unexplained injuries
  • changes in hygiene
  • seeming fearful around certain people
  • fear or worry when talking about money


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