WomensLaw serves and supports all survivors, no matter their sex or gender.

About Abuse

Elder Abuse

Updated: August 15, 2019

What is older people abuse, also known as elder abuse?

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) defines “elder abuse” as an

“intentional act, or failure to act, by a caregiver or another person in a relationship involving an expectation of trust that causes or creates a risk of harm to an older adult.”1 

The World Health Organization (WHO) defines it as a

“single, or repeated act, or lack of appropriate action, occurring within any relationship where there is an expectation of trust, which causes harm or distress to an adult 60 years and older.”2 

In other words, the older adult is put at risk of being harmed or is harmed by a person they should be able to trust. This can be done intentionally or by failing to keep the older adult from being hurt.

1 “Elder Abuse: Definitions,” Centers for Disease Control
2 “Abuse of Older People,” World Health Organization