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About Abuse

Elder Abuse

Updated: 
August 15, 2019

I am an older adult experiencing elder abuse. How could abuse affect my health and wellbeing?

Unfortunately, there have not been many studies about the long-term effects of elder abuse on older adults. The studies that have been done, however, show that many of the immediate effects of elder abuse are similar to the signs of elder abuse, including physical damage, like welts, bruises, and other injuries, and emotional damage, such as agitation, shame, and regression. Other effects of elder abuse include:

  • problems with eating and drinking;
  • difficulty sleeping;
  • increased vulnerability to new illnesses, including sexually-transmitted infections;
  • increased damage from existing health conditions;
  • greater risks of fear and anxiety;
  • inability to care for oneself;
  • post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD); and
  • greater risks of early death.1

1 This information was adapted from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.