What is Elder Abuse?


"Elder Abuse is 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 older person”

(World Health Organisation 2002)

Who can be affected?

Abuse can be experienced by men and women from all cultures and races and by both rich and poor. An abused older person may live on their own or in a household. They could be taking care of themselves, caring for someone or being cared for by someone. The person doing the abusing is often someone the older person knows and should be able to trust; such as a daughter or son, grandchild, spouse, other family member, carer or friend. 

Types of abuse

Financial abuse - the illegal or improper use of an older person's money or property, including the misuse of an Enduring Power of Attorney document.

Psychological abuse - causing mental anguish, fear of violence, feelings of shame, humiliation and powerlessness.

Physical abuse - inflicting pain or injury. It includes hitting, slapping, restraining or over/under medicating.

Social abuse - preventing a person from having social contact with family and friends or accessing social activities.

Neglect - in intentional or unintentional failure by a carer to provide necessities of life to a person who depends on them.

Sexual abuse - sexual assault, rape or any activity that makes an older person uncomfortable about their body or gender; for example unwanted text messages. 


More information:

The Queensland Government has a good website with information about: