Elder/Dependent Adult Protection
Many elder and dependent adult victims are often unable to access services or assert their rights. Some have physical, cognitive, and attitudinal impediments that limit their access to the appropriate agencies. Others are unaware that they have been victimized or refuse to see themselves as victims.
Our elder/dependent adult advocates provide comprehensive advocacy services to these victims as well as training and outreach to law enforcement and other service providers. We collaborate with specific agencies such as Adult Protective Services, Legal Aid for seniors, the Ombudsman Office and The Center for Independent Living. These efforts have generated an increase in reporting the maltreatment of elders and dependent adults.
In 2002, the Superior Court of Alameda County created the Elder Abuse Protection Court Project, a court calendar dedicated to elder abuse cases.
The separate calendar offers elders a shorter wait time in the courtroom and provides greater privacy for public hearings dealing with very personal matters. The calendar is heard weekly at each of the four courthouses (to be closer to the petitioners’ homes), starting late in the morning in order to give seniors more time to travel to court.
Download an elder abuse brochure, Protecting the Elderly from Abuse:
Elder Abuse Can Take Many Forms
Failure of a caregiver to provide food, clothing, shelter, assistance with hygiene and protection from dehydration, malnutrition and health and safety hazards.
Fear, confusion or depression brought about by threats, intimidation of deception.
Desertion of an elder or dependent person by someone charged with his or her care.
Any theft of an elder’s money or property; may include wrongful use of legal documents such as power of attorney.
What are some of the warning signs of Elder/Dependent Adult Abuse?
- Not being given the opportunity to speak for yourself in presence of your caregiver
- Your caregiver is too aggressive with you
- Caregiver has problems with alcohol/drugs
- If you feel socially isolated and your caregiver says he/she is the only one who cares about you
- If you notice your caregiver lying to others about how your injuries occurred
- Uncomfortable behavior by a caregiver towards you
- Caregiver using your money for their benefit. Repeatedly pressuring you for money or power of attorney
If you recognize any of these signs, contact Adult Protective Services (APS) at 1-866-225-5277.
Signs that someone you know may be a victim
- If you notice bruises, or abnormal color changes/spots, especially bleeding
- If a person looks dirty, has sores or rashes, and poor hygiene, they may be neglected
- Helplessness or hesitation to talk openly may be a sign
- Depression, withdrawal, and suicidal acts or refusing medical attention
- Sudden social isolation
- Sudden involvement of a previously uninvolved relative or a new friend
- Pressure to change will, power of attorney or to add a name to a property deed or to bank accounts
- Disparity between lifestyle of the elder and the elder’s caregiver
Elder and Dependent Adult Abuse During Covid-19
On October 22, 2020, the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office and the Alameda County Family Violence Council held a panel discussion on the many ways Elders and Dependent Adults are being effected during COVID-19. The panelists were Alameda County Deputy District Attorney Briggitte Lowe, Executive Director of Legal Assistance for Seniors James Treggiari, Executive Director of Ombudsman Services Nicole Howell, and Program Manager, Alameda County Division of Aging and Adult Protection Vanessa Baker.
The robust discussion was moderated by the Honorable Victor A. Rodriguez, Alameda County Superior Court Judge. The Alameda County Family Justice Center remains open M-F 8:30-5pm to assist those in need of help. (510) 267-8800.