What Are the Top Signs and Symptoms of Elder Abuse?

by | Feb 20, 2023

Elder abuse is a growing problem in our society. It is estimated that one in ten Americans over the age of 60 have experienced some form of elder abuse.

Unfortunately, the signs and symptoms of elder abuse may be difficult to identify, as they can range from subtle to overt. In this blog, we will discuss the top signs and symptoms of elder abuse that you should be aware of.

What Is Elder Abuse

Elder abuse is a form of abuse that affects the elderly, often in many forms, such as physical, sexual, or financial exploitation. It is important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of elder abuse so that it can be addressed quickly and effectively.

Some of the most common signs and symptoms of elder abuse include:

  • Sudden changes in behavior (withdrawn, agitated, depressed, or fearful)
  • Confusion, anxiety, or depression
  • Changes in hygiene or poor hygiene-related behaviors
  • Physical injuries such as cuts, bruises, or even broken bones
  • Weight loss or malnourishment
  • Unexplained financial transactions

What Types of Elder Abuse and Their Signs

The signs of abuse and mistreatment of the elderly can be different in each situation, and some elderly people may become the target of more than one type of abuse.

Physical Abuse

Physical abuse of the elderly is a form of elder abuse that involves any physical force used against an elderly person that results in injury, pain, or impairment.

Signs of physical abuse may include:

  • Bruises or other marks on the skin
  • Unexplained fractures or injuries
  • Changes in behavior, such as being withdrawn, anxious, or fearful
  • Fear of the caregiver
  • Refusal to talk about the abuse
  • Difficulty sleeping or eating

Emotional Abuse

Emotional abuse of the elderly is a form of elder abuse that is often overlooked but is just as damaging as physical abuse. Signs of emotional abuse may include:

  • Unexplained changes in mood or behavior
  • Withdrawal from social activities
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Fear or confusion
  • Isolation from family and friends
  • Low self-esteem
  • Loss of interest in activities
  • Lack of personal care
  • Difficulty sleeping or eating

Financial Abuse

Financial abuse of the elderly is often overlooked, but it can have devastating effects on an elderly person’s life, including loss of independence and financial security. Signs of financial abuse may include:

  • Unusual bank account activity or sudden changes in financial status
  • Unpaid bills or overdue accounts
  • Unexplained or unusual purchases
  • Unexpected changes to an elderly person’s will or other legal documents
  • Unauthorized use of an elderly person’s credit cards or accounts
  • Refusal to return money or property to an elderly person

Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse of the elderly is a serious and often overlooked form of elder abuse. It is estimated that 1 in 10 older adults experience some form of sexual abuse, ranging from inappropriate touching and comments to rape and molestation.

Signs of sexual abuse in the elderly include:

  • Unexplained bruises or injuries in the genital area
  • Changes in behavior, such as becoming withdrawn or agitated
  • Unexpected changes in clothing or wardrobe
  • Unexplained sexually transmitted diseases
  • Unwanted sexual advances


Neglect occurs when a caregiver fails to provide the necessary care and support that an elderly person needs to stay safe and maintain their health. It can include things like not providing adequate nutrition, not providing access to medical care, or not responding to an elderly person’s requests for help.

It is important to be aware of the signs of neglect so that you can take action if you suspect it is happening. Signs of neglect may include:

  • Unexplained weight loss or malnutrition
  • Poor hygiene
  • Lack of access to medical care
  • Unsafe living conditions
  • Unexplained bruises or injuries


Elder abuse is a serious issue that should not be taken lightly. While it may not be easy to recognize the signs and symptoms of elder abuse, it is important to be aware of them. Some of the most common signs and symptoms of elder abuse include physical signs of injury, changes in behavior, financial exploitation, isolation, and neglect. If you suspect that someone you know is being abused, it is important to report it to the proper authorities. It is never too late to put an end to elder abuse and ensure that elderly individuals get the care and respect they deserve.

Are you looking for a reliable elder abuse lawyer? If so, Santa Rosa Personal Injury Lawyer is here to help. We understand the complexities involved in elder abuse cases. That’s why we are dedicated to providing the highest level of legal representation to victims of elder abuse and their families. Our team of experienced attorneys has extensive experience and expertise to effectively represent our clients in court and to ensure that their rights are protected. We will work to make sure that the perpetrators of elder abuse are held accountable for their actions. Let us help our clients seek the justice they deserve. Schedule an appointment with us today!

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