A 95-year-old woman was left with a black eye, cut head and fractured pelvis after confronting burglars inside her home.
The woman, who has not been named, was attacked after three young men wearing hoodies forced their way in through a first-floor window of a house in Wickford, Essex.
After the assault, they ran off with cash and her house keys.
Detective Constable Tony Thomas said: "She was an independent woman doing all her own housework despite being aged in her 90s and now because of this incident she will now need to have extra help. This incident has been truly life-changing.
"It is upsetting to see the face of lovely lady battered and bruised by these men who clearly had no regard for her when they broke into her home and assaulted her without a second thought.
"The men should be ashamed of themselves as should those who know them or live with them."
He urged the men to hand themselves in and called for witnesses who may have seen a black car speeding off to come forward.
The incident happened in Alderney Gardens at 9pm on August 24.
Witnesses should call Basildon police station on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.