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National Center on Elder Abuse 2004 Survey
(Survey is released every four years)

According to national data, elder abuse occurs primarily in domestic situations, with perpetrators most likely being:

  • Adult children of the victim (32.6 percent)
  • Spouses (11.3 percent)
  • Other relatives (21.5 percent)
  • Unknown perpetrators (16.3 percent)

The most common types of abuse are:

  • Self-Neglect (26.7 percent)
  • Caregiver Neglect (23.7 percent) 
  • Emotional/Psychological (13.6 percent)
  • Physical (12.5 percent)
  • Sexual Abuse (.7 percent) 
  • Financial/Material exploitation (20.8 percent)
  • Other (2 percent)

The increase in age also increases the likelihood of abuse, neglect and exploitation.

  • 20.8 percent of victims were between the ages of 60-69
  • 36.5 percent of victims were between the ages of 70-79
  • 42.8 percent of victims were over the age of 80

The percentages include elders who live alone or with relatives, as well as those within long-term care facilities.

Crimes committed by family members and caretakers occur far more frequently than crimes perpetrated by strangers yet are the least reported and prosecuted. Only one in 14 cases of abuse and neglect are estimated to ever get reported to Adult Protective Services or the police. One in 25 cases of financial exploitation are reported.


Last Updated 7/19/2016