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What is Elder Abuse?

  • Elder Abuse can be Physical, Psychological, Emotional, Sexual, and Financial.
  • It can be a single or repeated act, or lack of action. Occurring within ANY relationship where there is an expectation of trust which causes harm of distress.

Who is an "elder?"

  • Technically 60-years-old and up. For most service providers 50-years-old and up.
  • 67% are women, 33% are men.
  • Law includes the Elderly AND incapacitated adults.
  • 18-years-old and up; physically, mentally, or emotionally unable to manage their own personal, home, or financial affairs.

Who abuses?

  • Trusted care givers with some expectation of trust.
  • Spouses, partners, family members, care givers, etc.
  • Often have co-occurring issues: anger, substance abuse, health issues, stress.

These ARE NOT reasons or excuses for the abuser. These are issues that magnify the underlying problem: the abuser likes to abuse.
Abusers use common tactics such as: emotional, psychological, or spiritual abuse; isolation; neglect; manipulating family; threats; financial exploitation; sexual or physical abuse.

Our goal (and the goal of all who work with the abused elderly) is to treat them with dignity and respect. Even though volunteers may be younger they will treat you with the same dignity and respect as a peer would. We are here to help you understand what has happened or is happening, give you all the information you may need, support you as you work to process what has happened, and most importantly to LISTEN.

As with other types of abuse there are potential Red Flags that you loved one or friend is being abused.


Conversations with Crisis Line volunteers and advocates are protected under confidentiality. This means that information shared during a crisis line call or one-on-one conversations with "on-duty" advocates cannot be disclosed without your written consent.
The only exceptions to confidentiality is in regards to abuse of a child or abuse of an incapacitated adult.