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Elder abuse is both a crime and a hidden tragedy that affects an estimated 1 in 10 adults over the age of 60 in the United States each year. Understanding what actions constitute elder abuse and exploitation are necessary for mental health professionals to recognize and proactively assist victims. Because the victims are often isolated, helpless, and fearful, the actual extent of elder abuse is likely much larger than the numbers of cases reported to law enforcement. Elder abuse can be any type of active harm or passive neglect that is intended to intimidate, control, or cause physical harm to an elderly person. The insidious nature of elder abuse is that it is perpetrated by a caregiver, family member, or other person on whom the ...

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