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Elder abuse: The hidden crime

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Who are the victims of elder abuse?

Most victims of elder abuse are mentally capable and able to make decisions for themselves. Most can take care of their own health needs and do not need constant care. It is wrong to assume that someone is mentally incapable just because they are older.

Although victims of elder abuse are generally dependent on their abuser in some way, this is not necessarily because they are mentally incapable or physically frail. But, if they have a mental or physical disability, they are more vulnerable to abuse.

Sometimes the abuse of an older person by their spouse or partner is domestic violence.

Abuse can happen to any older person. But the greatest physical harm is most often done to women.

CLEO's Do you know a woman who is being abused? A legal rights handbook includes help and referral information for women who are experiencing domestic violence.

Being isolated and abused are often connected. Many victims of abuse are isolated from their friends, neighbours, and other family members.