For Elders

Quick Statistics

  • ​Approximately 1 in 10 Americans aged 60+ have experienced some form of elder abuse.
  • Some estimates range as high as 5 million elders who are abused each year.
  • One study estimated that only 1 in 14 cases of abuse are reported to authorities.
  • In California, elders are defined as persons 65 years and older. Under California law, elder abuse can be both criminal and civil.
  • Elder abuse includes physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, exploitation, neglect, and abandonment.
  • Perpetrators include children, other family members, and spouses — as well as staff at nursing homes, assisted living, and other facilities.

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Warning Signs

Physical Abuse and Neglect Indicators:

  • Malnutrition and/or dehydration, bedsores. Unexplained weight loss.
  • Unseen but suspected physical injury. Painful reactions when touched.
  • Bruises, skin tears or broken bones or teeth.
Behavorial Indicators

  • Agitation, Anger or Anxiety
  • Confusion or disorientation
  • Defensiveness
  • Depression, Fear or Helplessness
  • Hesitation to talk openly
  • Giving implausible excuses
  • Non responsiveness or Withdrawal
Possible Relative or Caregiver Abuse Indicators
  • The elder may not be given the opportunity to speak for him/herself.
  • Attitudes of indifference or anger toward the elder by the family member or caregiver.
  • Social isolation or restriction of activity of the elder.
  • Conflicting accounts of incidents by the family or caregivers.
  • Individuals responsible for the care of the elder having gambling or substance abuse problems.