Elder abuse is doing something or failing to do something that results in harm to an elderly person or puts a helpless older person at risk of harm. This includes Physical, sexual and emotional abuse Neglecting or deserting an older person you are responsible for Taking or misusing an elderly person's money or property Elder abuse can happen within the family. It can also happen in settings such as hospitals or nursing homes or in the community. Elder abuse is a serious problem in this country. All 50 states have laws against elder abuse. The laws differ, but all states have systems for reporting suspected abuse.