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15 Questions & Answers about Elder Abuse

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15 Questions & Answers About Elder Abuse

National Center on Elder Abuse,  Washington, DC

15 Questions & Answers About Elder Abuse

This Q&A booklet answers some of the most commonly asked questions about elder abuse: What is it? What are the warning signs? Who is most at risk? Who are the abusers? Are there laws that protect seniors? What steps can people take to protect themselves?

Elder abuse is a crime that can touch anyone. We strongly urge you to continue to educate yourself about the problem of elder abuse, share what you learn with others, report concerns, get involved in community prevention efforts, and make a long‐term commitment to reach out to those who are vulnerable.

To learn more, we invite you visit our Web site at

SARA ARAVANIS Director, National Center on Elder Abuse



Foreword 3

What is elder abuse? 5
How can I tell if someone is being abusive? 5
|What are the warning signs of elder abuse? 6
Who are the abusers? 7
Is everyone at risk? 8
What is elder self-neglect? 8
Are there laws against elder abuse? 8
How many are victims of elder abuse or neglect? 9
What should I do if I suspect elder abuse? 9
What should I expect when I call for help? 10
Who will investigate? 10
What is Adult Protective Services? 10
Is there anything people can do to reduce their risk of elder abuse? 11
What is being done to combat this problem? 12
What can I do to help? 12