Advocates for the elderly are warning abuse can often go undetected for months.
A 30-year-old man has been arrested for robbing and assaulting an elderly woman at her Havelock North home on Thursday. He is due to appear at the Hastings District Court on Saturday.
Age Concern spokesperson Hanny Naus believes it's a widespread problem and family members may not even be aware of what's happening.
"Elder abuse happens much more frequently than what is reported… and in ways that is often very subtle," she said.
"Another person in the family might not be aware."
Ms Naus says every member of society needs to keep vigilant and if they're suspicious they should get in touch with authorities.
"Even if they're not sure, just talk through what their suspicions are with an agency that has the knowledge and understanding of elder abuse," she said.