Get help Types of abuse Elder abuse Elder Abuse is defined as: ‘A single or repeated act or lack of appropriate action, occurring within any relationship where there is an expectation of trust, which causes harm or distress to an older person’. (Action Against Elder Abuse, 1995) The abuse may be perpetrated by a partner, a child, another family member or carer, within a position of trust. The abuse experienced by an older person may have started earlier in life and has persisted into old age, or it may be late onset abuse when a long-term relationship has turned abusive in old age. Alternatively. the abuse may be recent when an older person finds themselves in an abuse relationship with a partner they have met later in life. More information can be found on the Action on Elder Abuse website here.