Elder Abuse

Black & white photo of an elderly woman

Elder abuse can be defined as actions occurring within a relationship of trust which harms or injures a senior. The abuse can be of a physical nature. It could also be sexual, emotional or financial. Simply abandoning a senior in a time of his or her needs can be also considered elder abuse.


There are numerous persons who have relationships with seniors who have in the past committed elder abuse. These individuals involve family members, loved ones, doctors, lawyers, strangers, neighbors and other parties. Unfortunately in many situations where a senior is abused they are not in a position to report the elder abuse to the appropriate authorities.


Physical abuse of the elderly can simply involve a care giver allowing the senior to deteriorate. In more extreme cases the senior is beaten, slapped, pushed and subject to being fearful of the abuser. The senior can also be neglected. He or she can be subject to not being properly fed, living in a situation of poor physical hygiene as well as having his or her health related problems unattended and uncared for. The senior can also be emotionally abused. This involves individuals engaging in various types of psychological abuse related to keeping the senior in a position where he or she cannot communicate with other friends or loved ones and/or the senior being maintained in a condition where he or she is continually afraid of actions or inaction’s taken by the person who is supposed to take care of them. In extreme situations seniors who are subject to Alzheimer’s and dementia disease can also be sexually assaulted.


Attorney Elliot Schlissel

Family members, friends, neighbors and others who have contact with seniors who suspect senior abuse need to contact the local authorities to deal with this issue. In addition family members can bring guardianship proceedings under Article 81 of the Mental Hygiene Law in the State of New York to be named as the guardian of the senior so they will be in a position to protect the senior.