- The purposes of this study were: (1) to report on the incidence of elder abuse and neglect by forms of abuse among elderly persons in a metropolitan city in Israel; (2) to characterize the victims and their perpetrators; and (3) to report on the major pathologic family problems diagnosed in the victims' families and the professionals that were involved in intervention after an abused person had been identified. Data collection was conducted over a one-year period, during which 120 new cases of abuse and neglect were identified, an incidence rate of approximately 0.5% (elderly population include 24,800 inhabitants). Unmarried women, who were frail and disabled, and lived with others were at the greatest risk of abuse and neglect of all kinds. Differences were found with respect to age and ethnic origin. Mental abuse was the most prevalent form and in most cases abuse included a combination of various forms of abuse and neglect. Conflictual family relationships were found to be the most prevalent cause of any of the abusive behaviors and the least cause of abuse was caregiving to a dependent family member.