Issues around egregious abuse, such as violence and financial abuse have been commanding the attention of most social science researchers studying the maltreatment of older persons since the late 1970s. The more subtle, everyday experiences of disrespect, which arguably is a precursor to more notorious forms of abusive and violent behaviour; or respect which, arguably, can prevent such abuse from occurring, are less researched. This paper investigates the research into respect for elderly people. Theories on ageing are explored as are definitions of respect, disrespect, elderly, ageism and infantilisation. Research from around the globe is briefly investigated in order to gain insight into whether respect for elderly persons is culturally based.