Elder Abuse

What is Elder Abuse

Elder Abuse is any action, or deliberate inaction, by a person in position of trust which causes harm to an older person. The abuser can be a spouse, child, family member, friend or paid caregiver.

~World Health Organization, 2002

Possible Signs of Abuse

  • Unexplained Injuries
  • Unusual legal activity related to will or other documents
  • Unnecessary purchases to the home or property and unexplained withdrawals from bank accounts, personal bank statements and credit cards are missing
  • Lack of food, clothing or other necessities, poor hygiene
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Depression, anxiety, fear

Types of Abuse

Physical Abuse 

Any act of violence or rough handling that may or may not result in physical injury but causes physical discomfort or pain. 

Financial Abuse 

Any improper conduct, done with or without the informed consent of the older adult, that results in a monetary or personal gain to the abuser and/or monetary or personal loss for the older adult. 


Not meeting the basic needs of an older person. Active Neglect: deliberate withholding of care or the basic necessities of life. Passive Neglect: failure to provide proper care due to lack of knowledge, experience or ability.

Sexual Abuse 

Any sexual behavior directed toward an older adult without that person’s full knowledge and consent. 

Violation of Rights 

Denial of a person’s rights as set out in the Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms and Provincial Legislation 

Emotional/Psychological Abuse

Any action, verbal or non-verbal, that lessens a person’s sense of identity, dignity and self-worth.

ONPEA, 2007

Resources in the Niagara Region

Niagara Elder Abuse Prevention Network


You can also find further information about elder abuse in the "Living with Dementia" section of this website, under Safety


If you or someone you know is in danger, call 911

Alternatively you can contact:

Alzheimer Society of Niagara Region

Seniors Safety Line (24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 150 languages)

Niagara Regional Police


Niagara Gatekeeper Program

Last Updated: 12/07/2018