Elder abuse takes many forms. In some cases, the elderly suffer from direct physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse and much more. At times, actions taken against them can include multiple types of abuse at the same time.
That said, studies have found that the most common type of abuse they face in the United States is financial abuse.
One recent study looked at around 2,000 calls regarding the elderly, and a full 818 of those calls -- 42% of the total -- alleged that the elderly had faced abuse. Of those, it found that 55% of calls referenced financial abuse specifically. It showed up in 449 calls. That makes financial abuse the most common of all types noted in the study.
Now, financial abuse can take many different forms, and it's important to note that the perpetrators can be family members or strangers. In fact, in calls in which the researchers could determine the relationship between the two, the perpetrators were family members about 48% of the time. The most common type of abuse that they carried out was financial, at 61.8%. The second-most common was emotional abuse, clocking in at around 35%, and then elder neglect, which was found in 20.1% of cases.
As you can see, abuse happens more than many people realize, and it often involves those who are close to the elderly and therefore in a position of power. This includes family members, but it could also include staff members at nursing homes, dedicated caregivers, nursing home managers and more. If you think your loved one has suffered from abuse, make sure you know what legal options you have.