Signs and types of elder abuse

On Behalf of | Apr 28, 2023 | Firm News

According to California law, elder abuse refers to any action that causes or has the potential to cause harm to an elderly person. Per the CDC, an elderly person is an adult over 60. There are several types of elder abuse and some warning signs that an older person in your life is a victim.


While nursing home neglect poses a serious risk for elderly people, it’s not the most common form of abuse. According to studies, the most common perpetrators of neglect are spouses or children of the victim.

Physical abuse

Physical abuse of an elderly person includes hitting, kicking, biting, shoving or any other type of physical harm. If you know an older person with unexplained bruises, cuts, scrapes or other wounds, these are signs of physical abuse.

Psychological abuse

While psychological abuse is often harder to identify, it is a far-reaching concept. Psychological abuse includes verbal or emotional abuse or manipulation. Older people who face this abuse typically become withdrawn, easily agitated or experience extreme mood swings.

Sexual abuse

While sexual abuse is often physical, there are other types of sexual abuse of elderly people. Inappropriate comments and unwanted advances fall under this category. This abuse creates an added dilemma for older people struggling with cognitive issues, as some courts still consider them consenting adults.

Financial abuse

Some courts classify financial elder abuse as “misappropriation of property.” This type of abuse involves taking an elderly person’s property without their consent.

However, theft isn’t the only type of financial abuse. Any individual who coerces an elderly person to give them money or other belongings is guilty of financial abuse. This coercion can be through emotional manipulation, threats, or undue pressure.

According to studies, 10% of people over the age of 60 experience some type of elder abuse. Knowing the signs of abuse allows you to advocate for your loved one.