Friday June 15, 2018 was World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. The day was created to bring attention to the thousands of older people who are exploited, neglected, or otherwise abused by those entrusted to their care. Elder abuse can happen to anyone and is often inflicted by the ones closest to the most vulnerable in our lives. Recently, Stan Lee, the famed publisher and former editor-in-chief of Marvel Comics, was forced to obtain a restraining order against his business manager after the manager was accused of elder abuse in a case being investigated by the Los Angeles police. Knowing some of the elder abuse warning signs may help you keep your older loved ones safe.

Financial Transaction Confusion

Financial abuse is a growing concern that is leaving more older Americans in dire situations.  One of the primary signs of this type of abuse is lack of knowledge, or overall confusion, regarding financial transactions. If an otherwise financially independent adult no longer recognizes withdrawals from his or her bank accounts, cannot find financial statements, and suddenly seems unable to pay basic bills, that person may be the victim of financial abuse.  Friends, relatives, or even former business partners may be forcing your loved ones to give them access to their bank accounts or intimidating them into giving large sums of money that deplete the resources needed for their daily expenses.

Signs of Neglect

A person who is dependent upon others for their physical needs will quickly begin showing signs of neglect if they are not cared for on a regular basis. Common signs include:

  • Loss of weight;
  • Looking or smelling as if they have not been bathed recently;
  • Symptoms of dehydration;
  • An unusually squalid living area.

An individual who is not receiving the physical care he or she needs may seem dirty, have skin rashes or sores, and be missing things needed to function such as a cane or eyeglasses. If someone in your life suddenly experiences an unexplained change in overall standard of living or care, it could indicate neglect.

Indicators of Physical or Sexual Abuse

Elderly adults who are being subjected to serious physical or sexual abuse will exhibit signs that are noticeable to those who spend time with them. Typically, abuse signs include unexplained bruises, injuries, and injuries that seem to happen repeatedly. A person who is being sexually abused may have unexplained bleeding from his or her genitalia, have torn undergarments, and be denied medical care for no apparent reason. Anyone who is victimizing an elderly individual will avoid taking the victim to doctors’ appointments in an effort to prevent discovery.

Protecting Your Loved Ones

Even with limited resources, it is possible to take steps to ensure those closest in your lives have access to quality care that keeps them safe from abuse or exploitation. A skilled elder law lawyer can help your family plan for your future or the future of a family member. The team at MMZ Law is here to answer your questions and help you develop a strategy that is best for your unique situation. Contact our office to schedule a consultation at our Claremont, California location.




341 W. 1st St. Suite 100
Claremont, CA 91711

MARIVEL M. ZIALCITA is the founder of MMZ LAW, A Professional Corporation, where she practices in the areas of Elder Law – Medi-Cal Planning Asset Protection, Trust & Estate, Special Needs, Conservatorship, Trust Administration, & Probate. Ms. Zialcita is a frequent speaker on trust and estate matters and holds memberships in the State Bar of California, Trust and Estate Section, The San Bernardino County Bar Association, Wealth Counsel and Elder Counsel. She currently assists in the pro bono legal services program at the James L. Brulte Senior Center in Rancho Cucamonga, California. She is based in Claremont but assists clients throughout Southern California.

This information is educational information only and not legal advice.