Encyclopedia of Gerontology and Population Aging

Living Edition
| Editors: Danan Gu, Matthew E. Dupre

Abuse and Caregiving

Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-69892-2_4-1



According to the World Health Organization (2018), abuse of an older person is a single or repeated act, or lack of appropriate action, occurring within any relationship where there is an expectation of trust, which causes harm or distress to an older person. This type of violence constitutes a violation of human rights and includes physical, sexual, psychological, and emotional abuse; financial abuse; abandonment and serious loss of dignity and respect. It can also be the result of intentional or unintentional neglect.

The mistreatment of older adults is one of the more egregious issues confronting society today. According to research completed between 2002 and 2015, the global prevalence of domestic elder mistreatment is 15.7%, or about one in six older adults. The rate approximates 141 million global victims of mistreatment annually (Yon et al. 2017). Yearly estimates for each of the mistreatment types are...

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of TorontoTorontoCanada

Section editors and affiliations

  • Neena L. Chappell
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute on Aging and Lifelong Health, Department of SociologyUniversity of VictoriaVictoriaCanada