The District Attorney's Office realizes that along with the pleasures of growing older and having more leisure time, senior citizens are also vulnerable to certain crimes. Some criminals prey on seniors, who often have more assets, are more willing to trust others, and may be vulnerable because of loneliness or diminishing physical or mental facilities. Criminals may attempt to exploit that trust, steal a senior’s money, or physically abuse or neglect them.
We are committed to fighting elder abuse and improving the quality of life for seniors. To that end, the District Attorney’s Office has staff who are specially trained and dedicated to prosecuting crimes against the elderly. These specially trained staff investigate and vertically prosecute elder abuse cases. This means that one deputy district attorney handles a case from beginning to end.
The most effective line of defense against elder abuse remains seniors themselves. By resisting high-pressure sales tactics, taking time to make decisions, and most importantly discussing personal matters with trusted friends and loved ones, seniors can often prevent many forms of elder abuse. The information on this web site will help seniors protect themselves by further explaining "elder abuse" and giving tips for its prevention.
Please review this information and discuss it with others. If you are concerned that someone is attempting to victimize you or a senior you know, you can contact the following agencies:
Yolo County District Attorney - Elder Protection Unit
(Monday through Friday - 8:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M.)
Yolo County Adult Protective Services
Davis Police Department
West Sacramento Police Department
Winters Police Department
Woodland Police Department
Yolo County Sheriff’s Department
UC Davis Police Department
For All Emergencies
The Clients We Serve
"Enhancing Education, Prevention and Prosecution of Elder Abuse"
What is Elder Abuse?
Elder abuse is the mistreatment of those who are aged 65 and older. This includes financial abuse, physical abuse, emotional abuse, and neglect. Elder abuse happens everywhere in poor, middle class, and upper-income households. It is a problem that has no demographic or ethnic boundaries. Because family members or close friends of the senior are often the culprits of financial, physical, and emotional abuse, this abuse is often difficult to discover and to accept.
What is Financial Abuse?
Financial Abuse is the mismanagement of money, property or other assets belonging to a senior. Anyone who has access to your personal information, such as bank account numbers, credit cards, checkbooks, etc. can potentially steal from you. Be careful about whom you trust. You can take steps to protect yourself from financial abuse.
- Cancel all credit cards you are not using.
- Never keep the Personal Identification Number (PIN) for your ATM card in your wallet. If you need to write it down, be sure to keep it in a secure place.
- Never give your credit or ATM cards to a family member or a friend to buy things for you. Whenever possible, give them cash or reimburse them with a check.
- Try to balance your checkbook or have a trusted family member or friend do it for you on a monthly basis. Immediately inform your bank or credit card companies of any activity that does not appear to be your own.
- Report financial abuse to Adult Protective Services by calling 888/ 675-1115 or by calling your local police department.
Signs of Elder Financial Abuse:
- You detect unusual activity in your bank accounts such as numerous withdrawals or attempts to withdraw a large sum of money.
- A friend or caretaker asks you for a loan and tells you to keep it a secret. A need for secrecy can be a warning sign of an intent not to repay the loan.
- You see your bills piling up when payment is the responsibility of your caretaker.
- You see changes in your will or power of attorney though you are unable or unwilling to make such changes.
- You lack amenities, such as clothing and grooming items, although you have the means to pay for these items.
What is Physical Abuse?
Physical Abuse is the infliction of bodily injuries on an elder. Seniors or their loved ones should immediately report physical abuse to law enforcement by calling "911" or Adult Protective Services by calling 888/ 675-1115. Keep a list of emergency numbers you can call in the event that someone in your home physically abuses you.
Signs of Elder Physical Abuse:
- Obvious lacerations, abrasions, fractures, welts, bruises, discoloration, or swelling.
- Pain or tenderness on mere touch.
- Burns caused by cigarettes, ropes or other bonds.
- Detached retina, bleeding, or scalp wound.
- Elder becomes withdrawn or protective of the suspect
What is Emotional Abuse?
Emotional Abuse can result from verbal assaults, threats, intimidation, humiliation, or isolation and can cause mental and emotional trauma. Verbally threatening and abusive treatment, and other acts of rage are not acceptable behavior, even if carried out by a son or daughter or family friend. You can report such psychological abuse to Adult Protective Services or to the police. Understand that such intimidating and hurtful conduct is not your fault.
Signs of Elder Emotional Abuse:
- Appears depressed and not himself/herself.
- Unusual mood changes and anger.
- Fear of being touched or approached by others.
- Seems withdrawn and unusually introverted or afraid
What Is Neglect?
Neglect is the failure by a caregiver to provide the senior with basic needs. This includes food, shelter, medical assistance, personal hygiene products, heat or air conditioning. Such neglect should be reported. Adult children, especially unemployed or those with a criminal history, may neglect their elder parents. Be leery of giving an adult child with a history of emotional or criminal problems too much control over your money or your life.
Signs of Elder Neglect:
- The elder feels isolated by a caretaker and is unable to speak freely or spend time with others.
- A caretaker fails to assist with personal hygiene or in providing clothing for the elder.
- A caregiver has a history of violence, or alcohol or drug abuse.
- The senior shows signs of dehydration or malnutrition.
- The elder has sudden weight loss.
- The elder does not have necessities, including eyeglasses, dentures, prostheses, hearing aids, canes, walkers, or other critical items.
Another form of neglect is self-neglect. Self-neglect is the inability of an elder who does not have a caretaker to provide for himself/herself. Self-neglect is NOT a crime. However, seniors can receive services and assistance from Adult Protective Services. Important: Often victims of elder abuse can be abused in more ways than one. For example, an abuser may hit the elder (physical abuse) in order to convince him or her to turn over money to the abuser (financial abuse).