What Is Domestic Violence – Domestic Violence in Later Life

Domestic Violence in Later Life

According to the National Elder Abuse Incidence Study (Administration On Aging, The National Elder Abuse Incidence Study; Final Report, September 1998) nearly one-half million older people, age 60 and over, experienced abuse and/or neglect in domestic settings in 1996. From statistics gathered the study concluded that for every reported incident of elder abuse/neglect approximately five go unreported.

Elder abuse can be divided into two categories:

  • Domestic Elder Abuse (Domestic Violence) refers to abuse and/or neglect of an older person by someone who has a relationship with them (this could be a spouse, child, sibling or other relative as well as a friend or a caregiver) and occurs in the older person’s home or the family member or caregiver’s home.
  • Institutional Elder Abuse refers to the abuse and/or neglect of an older person in a residential facility, which is committed by someone who has a legal and/or contractual obligation to provide the victim with care and protection.

Domestic Elder Abuse is Domestic Violence!!!

Spouses or other relatives commit most abuse of persons in later life (according to the Administration on Aging’s report). Findings showed that approximately 90% of abusers were related to the victim and Adult Protective Services (APS) data suggests that adult children are the largest category of abusers.


  • Psychological Abuse: The infliction of mental or emotional suffering. Any act, verbal or non-verbal that is intended to threaten, humiliate, intimidate, provoke, frighten or confuse an older person.
  • Physical Abuse: The use of physical force to inflict injury, pain, or restrain/confine an individual.
  • Sexual Abuse: Any non-consensual sexual activity of any kind with an older person.
  • Financial Abuse: The improper or illegal use of an older person’s resources, including money or property.
  • Neglect: The failure to provide the care necessary to maintain the mental and physical well being of an older person.

National Center on Elder Abuse
Provides many resources to help find the assistance, publications, data and information you need.

National Committee for the Prevention of Elder Abuse
Information about elder abuse

Washington State Adult Protective Services
Includes a description of their services and procedures, definitions and answers to commonly asked questions.

Nursing Home Abuse Support
Our goal at nursinghomeabusesupport.com is to educate the American public with factual and scientific information pertaining to elder abuse and neglect within the United States.