Domestic Violence in Later Life Law and Legal Definition

Domestic violence in later life occurs when a person uses power and control to inflict physical, sexual, emotional, or financial injury or harm upon an older adult with whom they have an ongoing relationship. The aggressors can be spouses and former spouses, partners, adult children, extended family, and in some cases caregivers.

The abusers use a pattern of coercive tactics, such as isolation, threats, intimidation, manipulation, and violence in order to gain and maintain power and control over their victims. They try to control the decisions by telling the victims where they can go, whom they can see, and how they can spend their money etc. Some abusers use their role and power to financially exploit their victims.

In 1987 U.S. Administration on Aging, established the Prevention of Elder Abuse, Neglect, and Exploitation program. This program provides federal leadership in strengthening elder justice strategic planning and direction for programs, activities, and research related to elder abuse awareness and prevention. Through the program training is given to law enforcement officers, health care providers, and other professionals on how to recognize and respond to elder abuse. The program supports outreach and education campaigns to increase public awareness of elder abuse and how to prevent it; and supports the efforts of state and local elder abuse prevention coalitions and multidisciplinary team.

Similarly the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA), directed by the U.S. Administration on Aging, is committed to helping national, state, and local partners in the field to be fully prepared to ensure that older Americans will live with dignity, integrity, independence, and without abuse, neglect, and exploitation.