Is this Abuse of the Elderly?

Bitter family members caring for our father with dementia are preventing siblings to visit.

Two of my siblings living with my father (who has moderate dementia) are suddenly refusing to let siblings visit him.

What laws provide us the right to visit my dad? Is this abuse of the elderly?

REPLY from
Without knowing the details, I would be concerned about elderly abuse.

Elder Abuse

According to the Administration of Aging, elder abuse is a term referring to "any knowing, intentional, or negligent act by a caregiver or any other person that causes harm or a serious risk of harm to a vulnerable adult."

It can include any or all - physical, sexual, neglect, exploitation, emotional, abandonment and self neglect.

In your situation, isolating someone from his or her family, friends, or regular activities is generally considered elder abuse.


There are several excellent resources available that can provide advice and information specific to your situation.

National Center on Elder Abuse - They are an excellent resource. If you live in the USA, they have a Help Hotline that can assist you with your family's situation.

Seniors Canada - They are also an excellent resource and have information/resources for each province.

Capacity and Consent

Since you mentioned that your father has dementia, I thought you might want more information about mental capacity, consent and undue influence. Basically, does someone have the capacity to make decisions.

Sometimes family members state that their loved one does not know what they want. More information can be found at the National Committee for the Prevention of Elder Abuse.


Now you specifically asked about laws and it depends where you live - each country and state/province has different laws. I would inform yourself on elder abuse and call a local resource.

If you are in the USA, find a local resource through the Help Hotline at the National Center on Elder Abuse..

If you live in Canada, find a local resource by looking at Seniors Canada.

For more general information, Abuse of the Elderly.

Thank you for this valuable question.

If other readers have any information, please comment below.

Thank you,

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