- Women over the age of 55, who are abused are more invisible than the younger battered woman because of ageism and cultural norms of their generation.
- The older woman is more likely to be treated like a child, not a competent adult.
- Due to health problems and transportation, the older woman can be more isolated.
- The older woman might risk financial difficulties, even homelessness, if she leaves her husband. She may also lose her health insurance.
- The older, abused woman is much less likely to call a battered woman's shelter.
- The older, abused woman may be afraid to speak up because of years of declining health, losing property, rejection by friends or family, losing her care giver, what people will say or feeling responsible for the person who is abusing her.
- After the death of their abusive husbands, some women continue to be abused by their adult sons.
- Unique to older women is the abuse by husbands who are frail, retired and experiencing stresses that come with old age. Often these men have been abusive throughout their old age because of biological changes, but these numbers are negligible compared to the total number of men who abuse their wives.
For more information on Elderly Abuse, please see the following handout provided by Catholic Charities.