Elder Abuse

Recognize the Signs. Respect their Dignity. Respond with Care.

What is Elder Abuse?

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), elder abuse is an intentional act or failure to act that causes or creates a risk of harm to an adult age 60 or older. 

Types of Elder Abuse

  • Physical – when an elder experiences illness, pain, injury, functional impairment, distress, or death as a result of physical fore.  
  • Emotional or Psychological- refers to verbal or nonverbal behaviors that inflict distress, emotional pain, or fear on an older adult. Examples include humiliation, threats, harassment, and isolation.  
  • Financial- the illegal, unauthorized, or improper use of an elder’s money, benefits, belongings, property, or assets for the benefit of someone other than the older adult.
    – It is estimated that due to financial abuse, seniors are robbed of $2.6 Billion/year.  
  • Sexual- forced or unwanted sexual interaction of any kind with an older adult. This may include unwanted sexual contact or sexual harassment.  Neglect- failure to meet an older adult’s basic needs. These include food, water, shelter, hygiene, and medical care.  

Red Flags of Abuse

  • Unexplained or frequent injuries 
  • Speaks of being afraid 
  • Withdraws
  • Comments about other’s temper and controlling behavior toward them  
  • Isolation
  • Unsafe, unsanitary, or hazardous conditions 
  • Sudden unexplained changes in lifestyle or behavior 
  • The individual is not able to meet alone  
  • Unusual financial transactions 
  • Unusual laboratory results  

How Can I Help?

  • Listen to them  
  • Believe them and validate their feelings  
  • Let them know is not their fault and that abuse is not okay at any age
  • Respect their dignity 
  • Provide your support to prevent isolation  
  • Respond by contacting local or National Resources 
  • Spread the Word— Share/post campaign materials at your workplace, place of worship, or other community locations you frequent. 


  • Although estimates vary, it is generally believed that 4-6% of the elderly are abused. According to the National Incidence Study on Elder Abuse, approximately 450,000 elderly experienced abuse in 1996 nationwide. If self-neglect is included, the number is 551,000
  • At least 10% of adults aged 60 and older in CO will experience some form of elder abuse in a year.  
  • 5.2% are victims of financial exploitation and 4.6% experience psychological abuse.  
  • 5.1% are neglected.   
  • Perpetrators are often family members and people known to the elder 
  • Only 1 in 5 victims are identified 
  • Abused elders are four times more likely to die prematurely 

For more information regarding Elder Abuse visit:  

For additional information and resources, please email or call LEVI at (303) 774-4534.