UNC Center for Aging and Health  |  Carolina Geriatric Education Center

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Who mistreats older adults?

Elder mistreatment is a family affair. Most data indicate that adult children are most often the abusers. Spouses and other family members also mistreat older adults. According to the National Center on Elder Abuse, almost 90% of abusers were family members and almost 62% of all cases of abuse, neglect, or exploitation of adults living at home involve mistreatment by other people and 38% involve self- neglect.

Paid caregivers who come into the home are less likely to mistreat or be abusers than family members, but this does occur.

Older adults also suffer mistreatment in the institutions where they live. There is great potential for abuse and neglect in assisted living and skilled nursing facilities as well as group rest homes.

According to the National Center on Elder Abuse (FY 1996 State Statistics), these are the perpetrators of elder abuse:

reference: Elder Abuse Awareness Kit


Elder Abuse