Reported Conduct

Intentional acts

Failure to provide care


Presenting Condition


Unmet [basic] needs


Vulnerability Associated with Aging

Impairment of capacity for self-protection or self-care



Person in trust relationship



Legal Definition


(depends on definitions under applicable law)


(depends on definition under applicable law)

FIGURE 2-5 Basic elements of elder mistreatment.


C + V + R represent a sequential analysis of the necessary elements of elder mistreaatment (conduct by people in caregiver roles or other trust relationships that injures a vulnerable elder, deprives the elder of basic needs, or exposes the elder to risks of injury or deprivation); each of these elements can be operationalized descriptively for research purposes.

C includes all injuries or threats to survival or health, by whomever caused, including self-inflicted injury or “self-neglect” and predatory conduct by strangers.

V excludes cases of “ordinary” victimization and self-injurious behavior not involving vulnerability associated with aging.

R excludes self-inflicted injury and self-neglect and predatory conduct by strangers.

LD represents the subset of cases defined by C+V+R that have been included in the definition of “abuse” or “neglect” under applicable state laws and practices. (A particular statute may also include cases that do not have all of these elements.)

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