Help the Aged has highlighted the growing problem of the maltreatment of elderly people and the lack of public awareness over the issue.
Despite figures which show that one in eight older people have suffered from some form of ill treatment, the charity said that there is more public awareness over the plight of animals.
As part of the launch of its new campaign, Help the Aged is urging people to ensure that elderly people receive adequate care and support and to recognise the presence of the problem.
"It is vitally important that we know what elder abuse is," explained the actor Richard Briers, supporting the campaign.
Mr Briers said that it could take a number of subtle forms, such as continually shouting or criticising an elderly parent with Alzheimer's, while more obvious methods such as stealing from a pension fund were also common.
"Our vulnerable older friends and relatives deserve all the support we can muster," added Michael Lake, director general of Help the Aged.
The campaign also looks at the role of the government, urging ministers to tackle financial exploitation and lack of related funding.