I’m an older adult. How do I know I’m being abused?

Elder abuse can happen to any . And sometimes it can be difficult to know whether you're being abused.

Use CLEO's Responding to Elder Abuse Guided Pathway to learn more about how to recognize .

There are situations that may put you more at risk of being abused, such as:

  • depending on others
  • having conflicts within in your family
  • no longer making decisions for yourself
  • being isolated from your family, friends, and community
  • living in a remote community
  • having problems with addiction, depression, or other mental health issues
  • having trouble remembering, learning new things, concentrating, or making decisions

When you know about these risk factors, it can help you to understand when abuse might happen.

You could be abused by:

  • your family members
  • your spouse or partner
  • people you live with, your neighbours, or your landlord
  • caregivers, who are paid or not paid to help you
  • service providers who you hire to do work around your home or property
  • people who you rely on for a place to live or for financial help
  • friends and other people who you trust

Types of abuse

Abuse can be physical, sexual, emotional, or financial. It can also be abuse if you're neglected or not cared for properly.

If any of these things happen to you, it's not your fault. No one has the right to hurt or abuse you.

What you can do

There are a number of things you can do depending on your situation and what type of abuse is happening to you.

Talk to someone you trust and ask them for help. This might be a friend, family member, doctor, or religious leader. Or, you could contact an organization that helps people dealing with elder abuse. Staying socially connected and in contact with people and your community helps decrease your risk of abuse.

If you live in a licensed or , there are formal steps you can take if the abuse relates to your care or living arrangements.

And if the abuse is a crime, you can contact the police.

Read more about your options in I’m an older adult. How can I protect myself from abuse?

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