home | site map | contact us

  Agricultural Crime
  Auto Theft
  Child Abuse
  Domestic Violence
  Elder Abuse
  White Collar Crime





HOME > Prosecutions > Elder Abuse

  Elder Abuse  


  What are warning signs of abuse?  
The following indicators, by themselves, do not necessarily signify abuse or neglect. However they may be helpful in assessment of abuse.
Possible indicators of Physical Abuse
 Cuts, lacerations, puncture wounds
 Bruises, welts, discoloration
 Any injury incompatible with history
 Poor skin condition or poor skin hygiene
 Absence of hair and/or hemorrhaging below scalp
 Dehydration and/or malnourished without illness-related cause
 Loss of weight
 Soiled clothing or bed
 Burns: may be caused by cigarettes, caustics, acids, friction from ropes or chains, or contact with other objects
 Any injury which has not been properly cared for (injuries are sometimes hidden on areas of the body normally covered by clothing)
Possible indicators of Psychological/Emotional Abuse
 Hesitation to talk openly
 Implausible stories
 Confusion or disorientation
Possible indicators of Financial Abuse
 Unusual or inappropriate activity in bank accounts
 Signatures on checks, etc., that do not resemble the older person's signature, or signed when older person cannot write
 Power of attorney given, or recent changes or creation of will, when the person is incapable of making such decisions
 Unusual concern by caregiver that an excessive amount of money is being expended on the care of the older person
 Numerous unpaid bills, overdue rent, when someone is supposed to be paying the bills for a dependent elder
 Placement in nursing home or residential care facility which is not commensurate with alleged size of estate
 Lack of amenities, such as TV, personal grooming items, appropriate clothing, that the estate can well afford
 Missing personal belongings such as art, silverware, or jewelry
 Deliberate isolation, by a housekeeper, of an older adult from friends and family, resulting in the caregiver alone having total control
Possible indicators of Self-Neglect
 Inability to manage personal finances, e.g. hoarding, squandering, giving money away or failure to pay bills
 Inability to manage activities of daily living, including personal care, shopping, meal preparation, housework, etc.
 Suicidal acts, wanderings, refusing medical attention, isolation, substance abuse
 Lack of toilet facilities, utilities or animal infested living quarters (dangerous conditions)
 Rashes, sores, fecal/urine smell, inadequate clothing, malnourished, dehydration, etc.
 Changes in intellectual functioning, e.g. confusion, inappropriate or no response, disorientation to time and place, memory failure, incoherence, etc.
 Not keeping medical appoints for serious illness
Possible indicators of Abuse from the Caregiver
 The elder may not be given the opportunity to speak for him or herself, or see others, without the presence of the caregiver (suspected abuser)
 Attitudes of indifference or anger toward the dependent person, or the obvious absence of assistance
 Family member or caregiver blames the elder (e.g. accusation that incontinence is a deliberate act)
 Aggressive behavior (threats, insults, harassment) by caregiver toward the elder
 Previous history of abuse to others
 Problems with alcohol or drugs
 Inappropriate display of affection by the caregiver
 Flirtations, coyness, etc as possible indicators of inappropriate sexual relationship
 Social isolation of family, or isolation or restriction of activity of the older adult within the family unit by he caregiver
 Conflicting accounts of incidents by family, supporters, or victim
 Unwillingness or reluctance by he caregiver to comply with service providers in planning for care an implementation
 Inappropriate or unwarranted defensiveness by caregiver

Office of the District Attorney, County of Tulare
 ▫  221 S Mooney Blvd, Rm 224, Visalia, CA 93291-4593    (559) 636-5494
related links | terms of use |
email DA's Office | web comments | copyright 2019