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Elder Abuse

Basic Facts About Elder Abuse

Abuse of an elder of dependent adult as defined by the California Welfare and Institutions Code is "physical abuse, neglect, fiduciary abuse, abandonment, isolation, abduction, or other treatment with resulting physical harm or pain or mental suffering, or the deprivation by a care custodian of goods or services that are necessary to avoid physical harm or mental suffering."

There are over 3.6 million persons over the age of 65 in California. Researchers estimate that 4-5% of the elder population in California suffer one or more episodes of abuse. Approximately 1 out of every 14 abuse cases is reported. Abuse can be physical, emotional, sexual, financial or any combination thereof. The perpetrators of abuse can be anyone in a position of trust; a family member, caregiver, neighbor, befriending stranger or professional advisor.

Who is considered an elderly person or dependent adult? An "elder adult" is defined as any person over the age of 65. A "dependent adult" is defined as any person between the ages of 18 and 65 with physical or mental limitations which restricts his or her ability to carry out normal activities or to protect his or her rights. Physical or mental limitation includes, but is not limited to, a physical or developmental disability or limitation caused by age.

A family matter...

Fraud, stealing or abuse in any form is wrong and illegal. It is important to remember that an abuser is not always a scheming stranger. For example, a family member may want an inheritance early, to gain control of an elder's assets in order to beat out other heirs, or use the victim's assets for their personal benefit. Society has often treated these types of situations as family matters, leaving the abuser unpunished and assets unrecovered.

The victims are often left with little or no funds to provide them the quality
of life for which they have worked and saved their whole lives.

Basic Facts
Recognizing Abuse
Who Must Report
Reporting Abuse
Recovering From Abuse

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