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
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