Elder and Nursing Home
Abuse and Neglect

Unfortunately, the elderly in our society are too often relegated to substandard and neglectful environments at nursing homes and assisted living facilities. State laws define elder abuse, and those laws vary from one jurisdiction to another, in terms of what constitutes the abuse, neglect, or exploitation of the elderly. Many states have isolated definitions of elder abuse according to where the abuse occurs. There are two categories:

  1. Domestic Abuse
    This type of abuse refers to any of several forms of maltreatment of an older person by someone who has a special relationship with the elder person (e.g., a spouse, a child, a sibling, a friend, or any caregiver in the elder’s home).
  2. Institutional Abuse
    This type of abuse refers to the maltreatment of an elder person that occurs in a residential facility, (e.g. nursing homes, foster homes, board and care facilities and group homes). The perpetrators of this type of abuse are usually those who have a legal or contractual obligation to care for and provide care to the elderly person.

In addition to breaking down abuse according to where the abuse occurs, states have defined the types of abuse that the elderly may endure. These include:

  1. Physical Abuse
  2. Sexual Abuse
  3. Neglect
  4. Financial or Material Exploitation
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