masthead: In Focus: Elder Abuse NCJRS acronym/logo with text: National Criminal Justice Reference Service

Many people envision older adulthood as an opportunity to pursue interests that they were unable to do earlier in life, perhaps due to financial or work responsibilities. But aging can be accompanied by changes in a person's physical and mental health. This makes older adults particularly vulnerable to crime, abuse, and neglect. Isolation, memory loss, and a diminished cognitive ability make it even easier to defraud or coerce them.

Elder abuse is a general term that includes physical, sexual, and psychological abuse; neglect; and financial exploitation. Victims of elder abuse can suffer from serious physical injuries, emotional pain and suffering, shame, depression, shattered trust, financial ruin, and an increased risk of mortality.

Elder abuse is not an easy problem to address. To help respond to cases of elder abuse, the Department of Justice, through its Elder Justice Initiative, recently launched an elder abuse case review toolkit, which encourages and facilitates the development and growth of multidisciplinary teams to respond to these incidents.

In observation of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (June 15, 2017), the Elder Abuse Special Feature provides topical information and access to OJP and other federal resources.

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How do I report elder abuse/exploitation?
If you or someone you know is in life-threatening danger, call 911. If the danger is not immediate...  Read More

Are resources available on crimes committed against the elderly?
The Elder Abuse Special Feature contains information and access to materials created and sponsored by... Read More

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Developing an Elder Abuse Case Review Multidisciplinary Team in Your Community

Elder Abuse Resource Roadmap: Financial

Exploring Elder Financial Exploitation Victimization: Identifying Unique Risk Profiles and Factors to Enhance Detection, Prevention and Intervention

The Vicarious Trauma Toolkit

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Related Resources

Elder Justice Initiative

NIJ: Elder Abuse

OVC: Elder Abuse/Mistreatment

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NCJRS Federal Sponsors

Office of Justice Programs (OJP)

Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA)

Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS)

National Institute of Justice (NIJ)

Office for Victims of Crime (OVC)

Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP)

Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking (SMART)