In California, elders are defined as persons 65 years and older. Civil elder financial abuse is when a person or entity does any of the following: 1. Takes real or personal property of an elder for a wrongful use or with intent to defraud, or both. 2.
California's elder abuse laws cover a variety of crimes and can occur in a variety of situations.  Under Penal Code 368 PC, California's elder abuse can be any of the following, directed at anyone who is sixty-five (65) years of age or older:
  • physical abuse (infliction of unjustifiable pain or injury on a senior victim),
  • emotional abuse (sometimes seen in the form of mental suffering through isolation or ridicule),
  • neglect and endangerment (willfully placing the elder or dependent adult in a situation where his/her health or safety is endangered), and/or
  • financial exploitation (also known as senior fraud or elder financial abuse).
Criminal elder abuse occurs where any person who knows that a person is an elder and willfully causes or permits any elder to suffer, or inflicts unjustifiable physical pain or mental suffering on the elder. It also covers situations where a person willfully causes or permits the elder to be placed in a situation in which elder’s health is endangered. (Penal Code Section 368)
Civil law defines civil elder abuse to mean physical abuse, neglect, financial abuse, abandonment, isolation, abduction, or other treatment resulting in physical harm or pain or mental suffering. It also means the deprivation by a care custodian of goods or services that are necessary to avoid physical harm or mental suffering. (Welfare & Institutions Code Section 15610.07). Such as:
  • Abandonment: The desertion of an elder by someone who is a caregiver.
  • Abduction: The removal, without the consent of the conservator, of a conservatee to another state.
  • Financial Abuse: The illegal or unethical exploitation and/or use of an elder’s funds, property, or other assets.
  • Isolation: The intentional preventing of an elder from receiving mail, telephone calls or visitors.
  • Mental Suffering: The infliction of fear, agitation, confusion through threats, harassment or other forms of intimidating behavior.
  • Neglect: The failure to fulfill a caretaking obligation such as assisting in personal hygiene, providing food, clothing or shelter, protecting a person from health and safety hazards, or preventing malnutrition.
  • Physical Abuse:The infliction of physical pain or injury, sexual assault or molestation, or use of physical or chemical restraints for punishment without, or beyond, the scope of a doctor's order.