Elder abuse may be defined as any sort of action or behaviour issued by an individual in a trustworthy relationship with an elderly person that results in physical or psychological harm to said elderly person. Neglect is often an inherent component within the context of elder abuse, with neglect being defined as any sort of lacking or non-existent action or behaviour by an individual in a trustworthy relationship with an elderly person that results in physical or psychological harm to said elderly person.
It is essential to acknowledge that despite elder abuse typically existing in forms of physical or psychological abuse, it can occur in many different forms as well, some examples being financial, sexual, and even exploitation. Abuse can occur at the hands of friends, family or caregivers, meaning it is crucial to listen to elderly persons to ensure they are being treated with proper care and appropriate respect.
One of the most difficult components of elder abuse to comprehend is being able to recognize and detect signs of neglect and/or harm towards older individuals. Victims of elder abuse are similar to individuals impacted by sexual violence or harassment in the sense that elders, like victims of sex crimes, tend to perpetuate characteristics of victim blaming, and believe that they are at fault for the behaviour they are being subjected to. By blaming themselves for their abuse/neglect they are experiencing, they hide symptoms that point to abuse and convince themselves that they have done something to be deserving of the cruel behaviour they are encountering. This is why it is so important to listen to elders and look for signs of victim blaming to ensure that they are in a healthy environment and/or relationship(s).
There are many websites that provide information regarding elder abuse and how to detect/prevent/resolve it, and I encourage you to check them out. It is important to be conscious of the existence of elder abuse and in doing so it becomes more probable to punish perpetrators of this crime.