Elder abuse refers to the mistreatment of an older adult that threatens his or her health or safety. Although the abuse may be caused by a person who is in a position of trust, such as a family member or paid assistant, it also may be self-inflicted. In cases of self-neglect , an older person is unable to provide for his or her own needs (including hygiene, food, and housing) because of emotional, cognitive, or physical impairments. Elder abuse may result in depression, broken bones, sores, bruises, and death. Because persons experiencing elder abuse are often unable to seek help, friends, family, neighbors, or physicians may be in the best position to recognize and respond to an abusive situation. This Patient Page is based on one originally published in the August 5, 2009, issue of JAMA. The August 3, 2010, issue of JAMA is a theme issue on violence and human rights that includes an article discussing elder abuse and self-neglect.