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Elder Abuse

Elder abuse is when somebody knowingly harms or puts a vulnerable older person at risk. Elder abuse can happen at the hands of a care giver, relative, or anybody else who is in contact with a vulnerable adult.

Types of Abuse?

Elder abuse comes in different forms:


When someone hits, bruises or physically harms an older person


When someone financially exploits an older person for their own benefit – for example by misleading them on financial matters, concealing funds from them or taking their property away from them.


When someone takes sexual advantage of a vulnerable older person


When someone psychologically and emotionally abuses someone – for example by threatening, frightening or humiliating them.


When a vulnerable older person who is unable to care for themselves is left alone for long periods of time by someone who is supposed to be caring for them.

Spot the Signs

There are different signs of elder abuse depending on the type of abuse the vulnerable older person might be facing. If they are being physically abused you may notice bruising, burns or broken bones.

It can be harder, however, to spot the signs of non-physical abuse, which is why it is important to watch out for possible strained or stressful relationships between the vulnerable older person and people they may regularly come into contact with – for example relations or other care givers.

It is important to listen and follow up any concerns that a vulnerable older person has.

Reporting it?

In an emergency: dial 999

An emergency is when a crime is being committed or has just been witnessed, there is a risk of injury, or a risk of serious damage to property.

In a non-emergency: dial 101

Use this number to report a non-emergency incident or make a general inquiry.

Report anonymously

Contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. Crimestoppers is a charity which is entirely independent of police and never share details with police of people who have got in touch.

Getting Support

There a lots of organisations out there who offer support and advice to victims of elder abuse.

Action on elder abuse

Action on elder abuse is a national charity that works to protect older people from abuse. They run a hotline for both victims of elder abuse and people who may be concerned about an older person. It is a freephone hotline: 080 8808 8141.

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