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San Joaquin County
District Attorney's Office

Elder and Dependent Adult Abuse
How to Help the Elderly

What You Can Do

We all have the right to be free from abuse and neglect. If an elderly person you know is being victimized, it is important for you to take action to stop it. Without intervention, abuse almost always escalates. Because victims are often reluctant to report, an elderly person's well being may depend on you to recognize and report suspected abuse. Together, we can be a lifeline.

Making the Elder Less of a Target

In order to protect elders from abuse we should make a concerted effort to minimize the elder's risk of exposure to potentially targeted situations. Consider the following:

  • Does the elder live alone?
  • Does the elder still drive? Be aware of driving related scams such as crashes
  • Does the elder spend a lot of time on foot or in public places? Be aware of targeting by exploiters who frequent banks, stores, parks, malls, and libraries
  • Does the elder have information about housing options, care choices and support groups?
  • Have the elder's outside activities decreased over the past 3 years?
  • Does the elder have family members in the area? Is there weekly contact?
  • Is the elder over friendly and helpful, even to strangers?
  • Is there a written service agreement for care, signed by the caregiver and the elder?
  • How many local friends does the elder have?
  • Who oversees the elder's Power of Attorney or the expenses of caregivers?
  • Who regularly checks the status of the elder's bank accounts, charge or credit accounts, or investments?
  • Do you know where and from whom the elder is getting advice of financial and medical decisions?
  • Does the elder know the popular scams that target the elderly?
  • Does the elder seek advice from fortune tellers, "psychic advisors", or "spiritual healers"?
  • Does the elder know when and how to call the police for emergencies and non-emergencies?
  • How much do you know about the elder's caregiver? Have you checked his/her criminal background? Do you know how?

Helpful Resources

Investigates complaints of abuse or neglect of elders and dependent adults
(209) 468-3780 - 24 Hour Emergency Line

Investigate complaints involving elders in managed care facilities and nursing homes
(209) 468-3785

Assesses physical, mental, and financial needs of elders and dependent adults. Locates assets and arranges for disposition. Estate Investigators secure assets and provide money management.
(209) 468-3740

Assists veterans and dependents in obtaining benefits, including homeless vet outreach.
(209) 468-2916

Provides direct services to elder and dependent victims/witnesses. Also provides court escorts, court support, information and referral assistance.
(209) 468-2500

Investigates conservatorship cases; appoints conservators at hearings; and oversees conservatorships, and elder's funds spent in their behalf.
(209) 468-2220

Investigates reports of crimes against elders and dependent adults.
(209) 468-4400

Prosecutes crimes against elders and dependent adults and provides assistance to crime victims.
(209) 468-2400