No one is immune to elder abuse — it can happen to anyone, at any time, and anywhere. Often a silent problem, elder abuse can rob older adults of their dignity and security and leave them feeling fearful, depressed, and alone.
Sadly, 10% of Americans over the age of 60 have experienced some form of elder abuse in the last year, and many researchers expect this number to rise with the growth of the aging population. Yet, it is a topic we are not readily willing to talk about. We “don’t want to think about it,” or we “don’t want to admit that it happens.”
Elder abuse (sometimes referred to as elder mistreatment) is an intentional act, or failure to act, that causes harm to an adult. Abuse can be categorized as physical, emotional or psychological, sexual, neglect, abandonment, or financial exploitation.