9 Signs of Elder Abuse That You May Miss

Elder abuse is a lot more common than you might think. About 1 in 10 adults aged 60 or over have experienced some type of abuse, according to the National Council on Aging (NCOA). Estimates say about 5 million seniors in the U.S. are abused each year, the NCOA adds. Here are a few more statistics about elder abuse from the NCOA:


  • Types of elder abuse include physical abuse, emotional abuse, financial abuse, sexual abuse, confinement (isolating an adult for nonmedical reasons), passive neglect, and willful deprivation. 
  • More than half of elder abuse cases are done by a family member.
  • The vast majority of elder abuse cases aren’t reported to the authorities.
  • Social isolation and impairment from conditions such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease are common reasons why seniors may be more vulnerable to abuse.
  • Some of the signs of elder abuse, such as dehydration or weight loss, may be mistaken for signs associated with aging or health problems. 

9 Signs of Elder Abuse

What are some of the most common signs of elder abuse? The signs may differ based on the type of abuse, but here are some general signs to watch for:

  • Arguments between the caregiver and older adult.
  • Changes to spending habits.
  • Dehydration.
  • Fraudulent signatures on financial documents.
  • Unexplained injuries.
  • Unexpected weight loss.
  • Unexplained isolation from social activities.
  • Unmet medical needs or signs of neglect such as bed sores.
  • Unpaid bills.

What to Do If You Suspect Elder Abuse

Of course, if you suspect an older adult is in immediate danger, you should call 911. Otherwise, let your state or local Adult Protective Services office know. Other resources include a Long-Term Care Ombudsman or the police. The National Center on Elder Abuse also has helpful resources. Talk to the older adult in your life about advocating for their health and finances if they can. 

Call Secure Aging to Find Out How We Can Help Seniors With Care Management

At Secure Aging in Bradenton, we transform the weight of the world into a sigh of relief for our senior clients and their concerned family members. The mission of Secure Aging is to protect and preserve our client’s independence and dignity through careful and thoughtful financial and care management. As our clients age, it is their desire to remain independent and age with dignity. Our services protect our clients from talented con artists looking to exploit and deplete the financial resources of our vulnerable seniors. Secure Aging helps families in Manatee County and Sarasota County and in and around the communities of Anna Maria, Bradenton, Bradenton Beach, Ellenton, Holmes Beach, Lakewood Ranch, Longboat Key, Myakka City, Palmetto, Parrish, and Sarasota. Call us at 941-761-9338, or visit us online at www.secureaging.com.

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