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Elder abuse is defined as an illegal act that harms an individual over the age of 65. It includes the following, separately or in combination: physical abuse, emotional or psychological abuse, sexual abuse, neglect, abandonment, and financial or material exploitation. Although this age group is one of the least victimized in our society, the injuries they suffer are severe and often life threatening. Because elder abuse is most often perpetrated by a family member, friend, care provider, or one known to the elder victim, it is much less likely to be reported. It is estimated that only one sixth of the 2.5 million cases of elder abuse annually are reported (National Center on Elder Abuse, 1998).

Statistical Overview
  • There are approximately 2.5 million incidents of elder ...
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