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Elder abuse: The hidden crime

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What is elder abuse?

Elder abuse is violent or abusive harm done to an older person. Elder abuse is often a crime.

The abuser could be:

  • a family member
  • a friend
  • a paid or unpaid caregiver
  • a staff person or volunteer in a retirement home, a long-term care home, a hospital, or any other supportive housing or group living situation

Someone who commits elder abuse usually has control or influence over the older person. Victims of elder abuse often know and trust their abuser.

Some victims of elder abuse depend on their abuser for food, housing, personal care, companionship, or transportation.