The 7 Types of Elder Abuse To Watch For

Elders in our community should be treated with respect. They should be elevated and protected and adequately provided for throughout the rest of their lives. The sad reality is that elders are often more vulnerable than many other members of society. They are often open to suffering abuse, especially when placed in a nursing home, and are frequently unwilling or unable to be honest about their experiences with their loved ones.

This puts the impetus on loved ones to keep an eye on their elder family members and friends. If you observe anything that seems strange, it could be a sign of elder abuse occurring behind the scenes. Here are the 7 different types of elder abuse that are commonly acknowledged, and the warning signs of each to watch out for:

Physical Abuse

Physical Abuse is intentional physical force used against an elder. Warning signs may include bruises, sprains, burns, and unexplained injuries or hospitalization.

Emotional Abuse

Emotional Abuse is psychological action taken against an elder that causes them distress. Warning signs may include depression, fear, mood swings, changed sleeping or eating habits, and avoiding eye contact.

Sexual Abuse

Sexual Abuse is non-consensual sexual behavior of any kind with an elder. Warning signs may include bruises, bleeding, trouble sitting, social withdrawal, or torn clothing.

Financial Exploitation

Financial Exploitation is the improper use of an elder’s money or financial resources. Warning signs may include missing belongings, unpaid bills, unexplained charges, and frequent cash withdrawals.


Neglect is when an elder’s caretaker fails to care for them properly, intentionally or not. Warning signs may include poor nutrition, improper clothing, missing medical appointments, and bad hygiene.


Abandonment is when an elder’s caretaker leaves them behind – either with someone else, at a care facility, or on their own. Warning signs include depression, confusion, dehydration, and fear.


Self-Neglect is when an elder is no longer able to care for themselves personally. Warning signs may include weight loss, a messy home, unpaid bills, injuries, and improper clothing.

Get the Help That You Need

At John M. Totten, P.C., we believe that nursing homes should be a safe place for all elders to reside. The sad truth is that they often are not. If you suspect one of the seven types of elder abuse is happening to your loved one, contact John M. Totten, P.C. today! Good people need good lawyers… so give us a call today!

John M. Totten