The French term for “elder abuse” is "maltraitance des personnes âgées." The French define the term as a single or repeated set of behaviors toward the elderly in the context of a dependent or familial relationship that takes the form of physical, mental, financial or sexual abuse, or simple neglect.
The French distinguish between abuse that occurs in the home and that which occurs in institutional settings, where practices range from starvation to assault. An estimated 5 percent of the geriatric population is subject to elderly abuse in France, but the actual number is likely much higher since few retirement homes are subject to reporting requirements and the abuse often goes undetected. Some studies estimate that approximately 70 percent of French nursing homes are guilty of some form of elderly abuse or violence.