Elder Abuse can be defined as physical or emotional abuse, neglect, abandonment, or financial exploitation. Physical abuse may include sexual abuse, neglect or abandonment of care by a caretaker. Emotional abuse may include verbal threats and can also be considered psychological abuse. Financial scams, telemarketing, fraud and identity theft are just a few of the financial crimes frequently committed against the elderly.
The World Health Organization (WHO) defines Elder abuse as 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. The core element of this definition is the "expectation of trust" of the older person toward their abuser, who is likely to be a person whom the older person knows or whom they have a relationships with. This can include family, friends, neighbors, or caretakers.