Elder Abuse & Crime

Picture of DFTA’s elder abuse advertising campaign, which displays an older woman who has a black-eye with the word “beaten” over the image in red, bold letters.
DFTA’s elder abuse advertising campaign.

If you are an older adult who has been abused, you don't have to suffer in silence. Abuse committed by someone you know and trust is called "elder abuse." Elder abuse can be financial, physical, emotional, and include neglect (withholding food and medication, abandonment).

A study from the Department for the Aging (DFTA) and other organizations found that 76 in 1,000 older New York state residents were victims of elder abuse during a one-year period. A DFTA ad campaign that portrays elder abuse also raises awareness about the issue.

DFTA partners with a community-based program in each borough to provide elder abuse victims with crisis intervention and safety planning. The programs also help victims compile evidence, work with authorities, and seek compensation through the New York State Office of Victim Services.

Providing Options to Elderly Clients Together

One-third of elder abuse victims suffer from depression, anxiety or trauma, making it difficult for them to take steps to address the abuse. Providing Options to Elderly Clients Together (PROTECT) provides victims with mental health treatment through a partnership with Weill Cornell Institute of Geriatric Psychiatry.

Community-based elder abuse agencies connect victims with clinicians, who provide evidence-based mental health treatment at a safe meeting place in the community or a home.

PROTECT is an initiative launched with DFTA through the New York City Domestic Violence Task Force, co-led by the Mayor's Office to End Domestic and Gender-Based Violence and the Mayor's Office of Criminal Justice.

Elderly Crime Victims Resource Center

DFTA's Elderly Crime Victims Resource Center helps older victims of crimes committed by strangers. Crimes can be financial, physical, emotional, and include neglect - the same crimes that are committed in elder abuse cases.

Perpetrators who don't know their victims often target them for money through IRS, investment, home-improvement, charity, and other types of scams.

Never give personal information to unknown callers. When in doubt, hang up and call the official business. Always protect your bank account, Social Security number, and Medicare and Medicaid information.

If you are a victim, call 311 to be connected to services.