Elder Abuse
Compensation and Claims

There is no excuse for elder abuse. Your loved ones deserve to feel safe and cared for, whether they are living at home or in a care facility. In 2021, it was reported that 1 in 6 people aged 60 years and older had experienced some form of abuse in a community setting. This is not acceptable and needs to be stopped. If you are concerned about a loved one, the Criminal Injuries Helpline is here to guide you through the process. We’ll deal with your case sensitively and guide you through the elder abuse compensation claims process.

What is elder abuse?

Elder abuse is when a person or organisation trusted by an older person causes them harm, either deliberately or through neglect. It is common in facilities such as nursing homes, where trusted carers may abuse their power or cause harm to service users.

Elder abuse can also happen in the home, for example, if a family member taking care of a vulnerable person intentionally harms them.

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What are the 7 types of elder abuse?

We can categorise elder abuse into seven types. Some may be more common in care home settings, whereas others are more likely at home:

Physical Abuse

this involves any kind of physical violence towards an older person, such as shoving, punching or manhandling.

Emotional or psychological abuse

this involves anything that may affect an older person mentally. Examples include name-calling, put-downs, humiliation, threats and forced isolation.


this is when a person’s carer deliberately fails to do something that may protect a person’s health. They may fail to feed, wash, clothe or provide the right medication.


this is when a caregiver intentionally deserts an older person. For example, they may leave them at a hospital or nursing home with no arrangements for care in place.

Sexual abuse

this is when somebody forces an older person into a sexual act without their consent. It may happen to somebody with dementia, Alzheimer’s, or a disability that stops them from consenting.

Financial abuse

more common with family members, this is when somebody spends an older person’s money without asking, from stealing to unlawfully accessing bank accounts.


while not inflicted by others, this is still dangerous for elderly people. They may struggle to accept that they are losing their independence, resulting in not taking of themselves. They may forget to eat, wash, dress, manage their money, or take medication.

What are the impacts and effects of elder abuse?

Elder abuse has far-reaching impacts, from short and long-term physical harm to mental anguish. Older people may have injuries such as cuts, bruises or broken bones, while they may also suffer trauma from emotional abuse.

This may also lead to long-term trust issues. They may no longer trust caregivers in general, even if they move to a new facility, or they may fear their belongings will be taken. This can also have impacts on their family.

How does elder abuse affect the family?

Elder abuse can have untold effects on an older person’s loved ones. They may feel guilty or responsible for the abuse, particularly if they live far away. They are likely to feel angry that their loved one has been treated like this.

It can also put additional pressure on them to change their loved one’s care. They may not have the funds to find another facility, for example, or they may not know where to turn for legal help.

At Criminal Injuries Helpline, we are here to protect families and their loved ones. We will help you seek the legal compensation your loved one deserves on a no win, no fee basis – helping to keep you all safe.

What sort of people commit abuse against the elderly?

When it comes to who commits elder abuse, there’s no simple answer – anybody entrusted with looking after a loved one is capable. However, the facts tell us that abuse is common in care facilities. 

According to the World Health Organisation, up to two in three nursing and care home staff admit to committing some kind of abuse.
However, it is not limited to care home settings. Some family members may act as live-in carers, or it could simply be a one-off incident. 

Anybody who is responsible for looking after an elderly person’s care could be capable.

What are the warning signs of elder abuse?

If you’re not sure how to identify elder abuse, it helps to look for signs related to the seven types. For example:

Physical Abuse

may show with bruises, burns, sprains, breaks or signs of self-treatment.

Emotional abuse

may be identifiable if your loved one has mood swings, appears withdrawn, or has different eating and sleeping patterns.


may show up as weight loss, a sudden decline in health due to missing medication, or poor hygiene.


could cause an elderly person to look lonely, depressed, confused or malnourished.

Sexual abuse

may present as bruises near the genitals, panic attacks, problems with mobility, or emotional withdrawal.

Financial abuse

may manifest as missing items in the property, unexplained bank withdrawals, unpaid bills or financial arrangements with no consent.


may be apparent if the person has bedsores, rashes, unclean clothing or unsanitary living conditions.

What should I do if I suspect elder abuse?

If you think a loved one may be being abused, try to talk to them in private. They may be reluctant to share information or they may be confused, particularly if they have cognitive issues such as dementia.

Try to look for other signs such as bruising or poor hygiene. Look at their living environment too – if it’s a care home, you might ask to look at records of medication or bathroom visits. If they are living in their own home, you might want to check their bedroom, bathroom or kitchen. Signs of poor hygiene and malnutrition may come to light.

Your next step is to report the abuse. Remember – you do not need to prove the abuse; you simply need to log that it is happening. The relevant authorities can deal with your report.

How do I report elder abuse?

There are a number of organisations to which you can report elder abuse. If your loved one is in a home, ask to speak to a senior member of staff to log a report. If you’re worried your loved one is in immediate danger, you may even have cause to dial 999. We understand that it’s not always easy to report a carer – particularly if you feel your loved one has nowhere else to go. This is why outside organisations exist to help, for example:

Pharmacies operate an ‘ANI’ scheme. By asking for ‘Ani’ you can report abuse safely and anonymously.

Hourglass is the UK’s only elder abuse hotline. You can call them on 0808 808 8141.

Adult Social Services at your local council may be able to review your loved one’s situation.


The Care Quality Commission is responsible for ensuring care homes meet strict standards.

Your GP or NHS healthcare provider may be able to give you advice on safeguarding.

The Domestic Abuse Helpline is available for those suffering abuse at home. You can call 0808 2000 247.

How is elder abuse proven?

Once again, it is not up to you to know how to prove elder abuse. Once your case has been received, it will be reviewed by the relevant authorities, such as the care home, Social Services or the police.

These authorities are responsible for proving elder abuse. They may recommend medical reports, inspections of care home or home environments, and any records, such as cleaning and medication rounds.

If your concerns are consistent with evidence of harm or neglect, this could lead to prosecution and help you with any elder abuse compensation claims. To help your case, you should consider gathering:

  1. Contact information for your loved one
  2. Details of their current support network
  3. Details about any potential abusers
  4. Details about the abuse
  5. Medical conditions and medication
  6. Your own contact information.

If you would like to make an elder abuse compensation claim, we can help you to gather this evidence. We will start your no win, no fee case and help you claim a financial settlement from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority. 

This is a government body designed to compensate victims of crime and abuse, without directly suing the abusers themselves.

It is often the best route for those looking to claim elder abuse compensation. It means that the attacker will not know about the claim, and you can also claim if you do not know the attacker. 

At Criminal Injuries Helpline, we have decades of experience settling claims just like yours, so don’t hesitate to contact us today.

What is the punishment for elder abuse?

According to Community Care, elder abuse is punishable by imprisonment for up to four years. However, if the case is severe, for example if the victim suffers grievous bodily harm or death, then the punishment could be up to 10 years in prison.

Sentences for non-physical abuse such as financial abuse may be smaller. If a care home facility is involved, this may also result in the employee being dismissed, or even the home being shut down.

Elder abuse: the facts

According to the World Health Organisation, the latest statistics on elder abuse show that:

1 in 1

people aged 60 years or older experienced abuse in community settings in the last year

up to 2 in 1
staff in institutions have committed abuse in the past year
Psychological abuse is the most highly reported type, at
1 %

in community settings

Sexual abuse is the least highly reported type

at 1 %

in community settings

Frequently Asked Questions

Will I have to go to court?

In the majority of UK assault compensation claims, you will not have to go to court. If you’re making a civil claim (against the attacker) you may have to appear in court. Our trained solicitors can go to court with you and talk you through the process. You’ll also have the option to change your mind or provide a statement through a video link.

Will my attacker know I’ve made a claim?

If you’re making a criminal assault claim through the CICA, your attacker will not know you have made a claim. The only people who will know about your claim are the CICA, the police, your doctor and your legal representatives. If you are making a claim against your attacker, then they will be informed – but you will be kept safe and will not have to be in the same room with them.

What if there were no witnesses?

We understand that many assault compensation claims will not have witnesses – for example if you were attacked in the street at night. In many cases, your statement alone is enough to claim through the CICA, though statements from others may help. If the attacker has been convicted, this could also strengthen your case. We will talk you through your options when you call us to start your claim for criminal assault.

What if my attacker has died or has no money?

If you don’t know your attacker, if they have died, or if they cannot pay compensation, you can still claim through the CICA. This is a government organisation and awards compensation to assault victims based on the seriousness of the victim’s injury. You will need to claim within two years of telling the police, and should have police records and medical records where possible.

How much does it cost to make an assault compensation claim?

You can start your assault claim through us free of charge. We’ll offer you a free consultation call to discuss your options and how to claim with the CICA. If you decide to proceed, you will only pay our 35% fee if you win your case. All cases are settled on a no win, no fee basis, and the fees come out of your total assault compensation amounts.

What if I don’t have my Police Crime Number?

The CICA will only take on assault claims with a valid Police Crime Number. If you’re still living in the same area, you can call 101 to speak to your local police centre and find out this number. If you’ve moved away, you can call the main county police centre, who will be able to put you through and find out your number. We can act on your behalf if you do not feel ready to do this.

What is the ‘same roof abuse’ rule?

The ‘same roof abuse’ rule applies to domestic violence claims, but has since been abolished. The CICA had a rule whereby those who were abused by attackers living in the same home could not claim for compensation. This affected anybody making claims between 1964 and 1979. Thankfully, this rule was abolished in 2012. That means that if you suffered assault in your home between these years, you can make a compensation claim today.

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    Elder abuse is inexcusable

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    t the Criminal Injuries Helpline, we understand that nothing can change what your loved one has suffered – but we can fight to get them the compensation they deserve. 

    For decades of experience settling claims just like yours, contact Criminal Injuries Helpline for no win, no fee elder abuse compensation.

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