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What is Elder Abuse?

Elder Abuse is most often defined as: “Single or repeated acts, or lack of appropriate action, occurring within a relationship where there is an expectation of trust, which causes harm or distress to an older person.” (World Health Organization, 2002)

Elder abuse is a growing concern, there are currently 2 million seniors aged 65 and over, or 14.6 per cent of the population who reside in Ontario. Based on studies that indicate two to ten percent of seniors are abused, there are between 40,000 and 200,000 seniors living in Ontario who have experienced or are experiencing elder abuse.

Click here for more information on Elder Sexual Abuse



If you are experiencing Elder Abuse, you are not alone!

The following signs and symptoms should not be ignored and may be a sign of Elder Abuse:

  • Unexplained injuries
  • Fear, uneasiness
  • Depression
  • Withdrawal or passivity
  • Poor hygiene
  • Poor nutrition
  • Missing personal belongings
  • Lack of food, clothing, or other necessities
  • Unusual bank withdrawals
  • Unusual legal activity related to wills or other documents

Elder Abuse Can Be:


  • Slapping, pinching, or punching
  • Other rough handling
  • Sexual assault
  • Forced confinement


  • Inadequate hygiene
  • Administration of medicine (too much or not enough)
  • Failure to ensure appropriate medical care
  • Emaciation, malnourishment, dehydration


  • Dishonest use of money or assets
  • Overcharging for services
  • Misuse of Power of Attorney


  • Verbal assaults
  • Humiliation
  • Intimidation
  • Social isolation
  • Being treated as a child

(Source: Halton Regional Police Services, 2021)