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Prevent Elder Abuse and Neglect

Photo: A man.Elder maltreatment is a significant public health problem. Each year, hundreds of thousands of adults over the age of 60 are abused, neglected, or financially exploited. In the United States alone, over 500,000 older adults are believed to be abused or neglected each year. These statistics are likely an underestimate because many victims are unable or afraid to tell the police, family, or friends about the violence.

There are six types of maltreatment that occur in people over the age of 60. These include:

  • Physical Abuse
  • Sexual Abuse
  • Emotional Abuse
  • Neglect
  • Abandonment
  • Financial Abuse

See Elder Maltreatment: Definitions for more detailed information.

Working to Prevent Elder Maltreatment

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) works to prevent violence before it occurs. Our activities include:

  • Documenting the extent of the problem;
  • Conducting research on the factors that put people at risk or protect them from violence;
  • Creating and evaluating the effectiveness of prevention programs;
  • Helping state and local partners plan, implement, and evaluate prevention programs; and
  • Conducting research on the effective adoption and dissemination of prevention strategies.

More Information


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  • Page last reviewed: June 10, 2013
  • Page last updated: June 10, 2013 The U.S. Government's Official Web PortalDepartment of Health and Human Services
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