Senior abuse is a generic term referring to a wide variety of harms to older adults that are committed by a person or persons they know and would normally have a reason to trust. It is considered different than harms from strangers.

The harms can occur in the community or in any variety of institutional settings

Senior abuse can take several different forms. In many cases it is a form of spouse abuse or domestic violence which may have developed earlier in the relationship and has continued into later life. Or it may start in later life, sometimes in the context of a new relationship or caregiving.

Much of senior abuse is physical, psychological or financial harms committed by sons or daughters, or other relatives in the family. Sexual abuse, rights violations, and neglect are other forms of harms experienced by seniors.

In institutional settings such as licensed or unregulated care homes or other types of facilities that provide care and support to older adults, the harm may come from staff, volunteers, operators or administration of the facility. In some instances, a family member may cause the harm to an older person living in a care facility.

Harms by residents to residents is not normally considered as part of institutional senior abuse, although addressing this issue is an important part of prevention strategies in care homes.



New Brunswick

Public Legal Education and Information Services of New Brunswick has several new resources related to abuse of seniors and disabled adults

Preventing Abuse and Neglect of Seniors (booklet)

o Also available in large print format  and quiz

Are You Dating? - Older Adults and Healthy Relationships

o Also available in large print format  and quiz

Adults with Disabilities may be at risk  (poster)


Prince Edward Island

Community Legal Information Association of  Prince Edward Island.  Abuse of Older Adults. What  Islanders need  to know. Describes CLIA PEI's developing three year New Horizon project or resources and public education.




Elder Abuse: The Hidden Crime (PDF 401KB) February 2007 Written by J. Wahl & S. Purdy. Published by Community legal Education of Ontario.

Description: This booklet describes the different types of abuse and neglect experienced by older women and men, the signs and symptoms of abuse, why it happens and why it is seldom reported. It also includes information on how to get help and support, and lists resources available in communities across Ontario.

Abuse Education, Prevention and Response: A Community Training Manual for those who want to address the Issue of the Abuse of Older Adults in their Community. 3rd ed. 2002. Written by J. Preston & J. Wahl

BCCEAS. (2004). Legal Issues for Seniors: A Training Manual





Canadian Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse.

Description: This website provides a wide range of Canadian information on abuse and neglect of older adults, including legal aspects.