Elder abuse includes physical, sexual, psychological/emotional abuse, caregiver neglect, or financial exploitation against a person, typically age 60 or older, though the definition varies by state. It can be perpetrated by family members, caregivers, trusted individuals, or strangers.
What is Elder Abuse?
While this list isn’t exhaustive, you may be a victim of elder abuse if someone:
- Hits, shoves, strangles, or otherwise hurts you
- Threatens to injure you
- Touches you or forces you to do sexual things you do not want to do
- Intentionally scares you
- Yells at you or calls you names
- Keeps you from contacting family members and friends
- Threatens to leave or send you to a nursing home (if they are your caregiver)
- Tricks you out of your money or property
- Forces you to sign documents or give money or property
- Takes your money or property without permission
- Abandons you or neglects you by failing to provide the medicine, food, and care you need from them
What can I do?
While there is no universal set of steps that will work for everyone, these actions may be of assistance to you:
- Call 911 for Immediate Assistance – You know yourself and your situation better than anyone. Trust your instincts and call for help if you feel you are in danger.
- Alert Others – Tell trusted doctors, friends, or family members that you need are in need of help.
- Locate Resources in Your Community—Call the Eldercare Locator helpline at 1-800-677-1116 or by online chat to locate supportive resources in your community.
- Report the Abuse—Your local Adult Protective Services agency may be able to help by investigating your situation and connecting you to local support services or law enforcement. Find out more about this process at the National Clearinghouse on Abuse in Later Life website. Find your local Adult Protection agency on the National Adult Protective Services Association Get Help Map.
- Locate Your Ombudsman— If you have complaints about treatment at a nursing home or assisted living facility, locate your state or county’s Long-Term Care Ombudsman through the National Long-Term Care Ombudsman Resource Center. The Ombudsman can look into your care and try to help.
- Stay Connected— Friends and family members that you trust can be supports to you if you are experiencing abuse, neglect, or maltreatment.
- Create a Safety Plan – Develop a personalized plan to keep yourself safe. Find help doing this here or connect with an advocate for assistance.
Contact the VictimConnect Resource Center by phone at 1-855-484-2846 or by chat for more information or assistance in locating services that can help you or a loved one who has experience elder abuse.
The National Center for Victims of Crime’s Financial Crime Resource Center, along with the FINRA Foundation, provides checklists to help you protect your financial future. If you are a victim of identity theft, investment fraud, mortgage and lending fraud, or mass marketing or other fraud, download the checklists and follow the recommended steps.
The Department of Justice Elder Justice Initiative maintains an interactive state map that shows available resources in your state.
FINRA’s core mission is to help educate investors of all ages. Conduct a background check on your investment professional or contact the Securities Helpline for Seniors, if you have questions or concerns about your investment accounts.
The National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA) has a helpful list of FAQs on topics ranging from the signs of elder abuse to prevention strategies. NCEA also maintains an interactive state map that shows resources by location.
The National Committee for the Prevention of Elder Abuse provides additional information on reporting elder abuse and what happens when you file a report.
The U.S. Administration on Aging’s Eldercare locator can help connect you to a variety of services. You can also call at 1-800-677-1116.