There is no universally accepted definition of elder abuse. However, after study of the most common definitional elements used in state statutes, policy, and research, the National Center on Elder Abuse considers elder abuse to be intentional or neglectful actions by a caregiver or trusted individual that harm or may potentially harm a vulnerable older adult. The majority of state laws recognize different forms of abusive or neglectful actions. Physical abuse involves the use of physical force that results or has the potential to result in bodily injury, physical pain, impairment, or unwanted or forced sexual contact (in some states, forced sexual contact is a separate form of elder abuse). Emotional or psychological abuse is the infliction of anguish, pain, or distress through verbal or ...

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