Elder Abuse

1. How is elder abuse a problem in the United States?

Approximately one million elderly Americans are victims of abuse, mostly women over the age of 75, often by their own caretakers. Elders who depend on relatives or neighbors find it hard to protect themselves against this abuse. Often, abused elders feel they should put up with the abuse because the abuser also provides necessary care. In 1993, the Legislature passed the Adult Protective Services Act, N.J.S.A. 52:27D-407. Below are a few terms covered in the act.

2. What constitutes elder abuse?

Under the act, abuse is defined as any willful infliction of physical pain, injury or mental anguish, unreasonable confinement, or the willful deprivation of services that are necessary to maintain a person’s physical and mental health.

3. What constitutes elder neglect?

Neglect is defined as an act or failure to act that results in inadequate provision of care or services, which may result in serious injury or is life-threatening.

4. What constitutes the exploitation of a senior?

Exploitation means the act or process of illegally or improperly using a person or his or her resources for another person’s profit or advantage. An example would be the misuse of a person’s money or possessions.

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