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Elder & Dependent Abuse

The Elder and Dependent Adult Abuse Unit is tasked with identifying and seeking prosecution of individuals who are suspected of abusing elderly or dependent adults.

Report Elder or Dependent Abuse

If there is an immediate danger to someone or a medical emergency, call 9‑1‑1.

If you suspect ongoing abuse, but there is not an immediate danger to the individual, call the non-emergency line at 619-531-2000 or 858-484-3154 to report the abuse.

Definition of Elder and Dependent Adult Abuse

  • An elder is someone ages 65 years or older
  • A dependent adult is someone between the ages of 18-64 with physical or mental challenges resulting in an inability to protect his/her own rights
  • Abuse is defined as the physical abuse, neglect, intimidation, cruel punishment, financial abuse, abandonment, or other treatment resulting in pain or physical or mental suffering, or deprivation by a caretaker of goods or services which are necessary to avoid physical harm or mental suffering

Recognizing the Signs of Elder or Dependent Abuse


Inadequate clothing, missed medical appointments, dirty and unkempt appearance, malnutrition, dehydration, bedsores, home that smells of urine or feces, utilities turned off, no food in home, or lack of necessary medications, eyeglasses, hearing aid, etc.

Psychological Abuse

Unreasonable or excessive fears, withdrawal, loss of appetite, agitation, isolation from family and friends, unexplained bouts of crying, or confusion.

Physical Abuse

Bites, burns, and unexplained broken bones, welts or bruises.

Financial Abuse

Changes in banking routines; third-party involvement in financial transactions; account activity involving large and frequent withdrawals, numerous checks made to cash, new use of ATMs, new names on accounts, sudden transfers of assets, transactions that can’t be remembered or explained, and power of attorney requests that can’t be explained or understood; increases in credit card activity or failure to make payments, fearful or anxious in presence of a third party, worried about theft of assets, and sudden decline in appearance or hygiene.

Sexual Abuse

Unexplained venereal diseases or genital infections, bruising or bleeding in the genital area, unexplained pain or itching in the genital area, or torn, stained or bloody underwear.


Failure of the individual to adequately take care of themselves and meet the demands of daily living to eat, pay bills, meet personal hygiene needs, and take medications. Self-Neglect is NOT A CRIMINAL MATTER and should be reported to Adult Protective Services at 800-339-4661.