Elder abuse is harm done to adults 60 years of age or older. This abuse usually occurs at the hands of someone the elder trusts—such as a family member or caretaker. Elder abuse may be physical, sexual, emotional, or financial in nature, and may also include neglect or abandonment, and may lead to a variety of health-related problems or a worsening of current health conditions. There is little data in the area of elder abuse, and statistics are difficult to capture, as few elders report their abuse. This is often due to the fact that elders may not want to report abusive caretakers for fear of their ability to find someone else to care for their health needs in the future source. However, one study on the incidence of elder abuse found that approximately 550,000 persons were victims in 1996.
If you or someone you know is a victim of elder abuse, contact the Rhode Island Elder Abuse Protective Services Unit.