Abuse Later In Life
Dignity. Respect. Safety.
What is Abuse Later in Life?
Abuse later in life occurs when an older person is subjected to a pattern of coercive behaviors used to gain and maintain power and control perpetrated by a partner, family member, or someone with whom the older adult has an ongoing relationship with. It is the intersection between elder abuse and domestic violence.
We encourage you to report any suspected cases of abuse or neglect to our Free, Private, and Confidential 24-hour hotline: 1.800.220.8116
Abuse Knows No Age Limits
- 1 in 10 older adults experience some form of abuse, but only about 1 in 5 cases are reported.
- 58% of the time, that abuse is committed by a spouse.
- 24% of the time it is committed by a son or daughter.
- As compared with younger victims, older victims have less information about services and resources and less access to them.
- Although each year the number of reported incidents of abuse in later life grows, approximately 84% of abuse incidents are not reported.
- As compared with younger victims of domestic abuse, victims of abuse in later life are less likely to report abuse due to factors such as fear of retaliation, fear and shame, reluctance to implicate a family member, cultural issues, isolation, loss of social network, concerns of being removed from their own home, and ageism.
- 11% of Americans 60 and older experienced at least one incident (physical, sexual, verbal, or emotional) of abuse in the past year.
The Power and Control Wheel for Older Adults
Identified are common tactics used by abusers.
- The hub of the wheel is the intention of all tactics: to establish power and control.
- Each spoke of the wheel describes a tactic.
- The rim of the wheel, which give it strength and holds in together, is fear and physical abuse, or the threat of it.
Click the link below for a printable version of the Power and Control Wheel for Older Adults.
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Do You Know Someone Who:
- Has repeated “accidental injuries”?
- Says or hints at being afraid?
- Appears isolated?
- Considers or attempts suicide?
- Delays seeking medical help?
- Presents as a “difficult”?
- Has a history of drug or alcohol abuse (including prescription drugs)?
- Exhibits depression (mild or severe)?
If you answered YES to any of these questions, further questioning may be warranted. There are people you can talk to and resources that can help.