Up to 10 per cent of people aged 65 and over experience some form of abuse in New Zealand.
The figure comes as the country marks the beginning of elder abuse awareness week.
Around 50 per cent experience financial abuse, where people fail to repay loans or simply take money or possessions.
But most cases are psychological, with elderly socially isolated, bullied and humiliated.
Hanny Naus of Age Concern says the majority of abuse comes from family members.
“Over 2500 cases in the past year that we see, the majority are family members and so it's not just as easy as saying, 'I don't want that person in my life anymore because they're doing something to harm me,'” says Ms Naus.
“They’re also the people that bring the children, so if you're getting threatened unless you do that you're not going to see the grandchildren again, you're not going to blow the whistle."