Who are the victims of elder abuse?

Most victims of elder abuse are mentally competent and able to make decisions for themselves. Most are capable of taking care of their own health needs and do not need constant care. Do not assume that they are mentally incapable merely because they are older adults.

Although victims of elder abuse are generally dependent on their abuser in some way, their dependency is not necessarily because they are mentally incapable or physically frail. However, if they have a mental or physical disability, they are more vulnerable to abuse.

Sometimes the abuse of an older person by their spouse or intimate partner is domestic violence or partner assault.  Abuse can happen to any older person, but the greatest physical harm is most often done to women.

Isolation and abuse go hand in hand. Many victims of abuse are isolated from their friends, neighbors, and other family members.