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National Center on Elder Abuse

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Reframing Elder Abuse

Ageism is one of the most common, yet least recognized forms of prejudice. It is defined by the World Health Organization as “the stereotyping, prejudice, and discrimination against people on the basis of their age.”


Ageist language referring to older people as a group in negative ways - like being cranky, dependent, or useless – can impact people’s understandings of aging and older age. These misperceptions can be harmful to older adults’ health and wellbeing. They may also contribute to intolerance within society, and potentially foster an environment in which elder mistreatment is more likely to occur.

Reframing Elder Abuse is a communications strategy that promotes a solutions-oriented approach to age-bias. It highlights the values of elder justice, equity, inclusion, and solidarity. As a society, we can promote positive and accurate perceptions of aging and reduce ageism by framing ageism as a shared concern that impacts us all as a community. If we focus on older adult capabilities and contributions, we can invoke our collective responsibility to effect systems change and shift public understanding of age equality.


The Talking Elder Abuse Toolkit provides resources and tips to improve the public’s awareness of elder abuse, enhance understanding of the underpinning issues, and elevate public exchange on the topic.

Reframing Elder Abuse on Social Media

The Reframing Elder Abuse team is sharing these tools to help you start reframing your outreach on social media.


  • Spread awareness and build a strong foundation for elder abuse prevention
  • Challenge ageism, stereotypes (how we think), prejudice (how we feel) and discrimination (how we act) towards others or oneself based on age. Reframe the conversation on aging and prevent elder abuse
  • Join your loved one in community events/holiday celebration
  • Elder justice is social justice
  • Let's work together to create a supportive, inclusive community for people of all ages
  • Stand united in support of elder justice
  • Reduce isolation. Prevent elder abuse


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Community Centers



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Educational Programs



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Public Services



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Public Transportation


The Reframing Elder Abuse Project is currently funded by the Administration on Community Living (ACL).

Last Modified: 01/31/2024