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Sep 13, 2023 by |

Santa Clara County Elder Abuse Attorneys: Criminal Abuse And Isolation Of Seniors


Recent Arrest For Abuse And Isolation Of Elder

Statutory Definitions of Physical Abuse And Isolation

Protecting Older Loved Ones

Elder abuse can be physical, emotional, financial, and verbal; neglect and abandonment are also forms of elder abuse.  Elder abuse includes not only intentional isolation and physical or financial abuse but also neglect or abandonment of a senior.  Often isolation, abuse and neglect go hand in hand with financial abuse when a dishonest caregiver, for example, is more interested in taking a senior’s money than caring for him or her, or intentionally isolates the senior so that the victim cannot reach out to others for help.  Parties responsible for any form of abuse and neglect, and those who assist them, may be liable for their actions under California Law.  See Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code §§ 15610.07 (definition of abuse), 15610.30 (definition of financial abuse including assistance with financial abuse), 15610.57 (definition of neglect), and 15610.63 (definition of physical abuse).  If you or an older loved one has been the victim of financial elder abuse in Santa Clara County or elsewhere in the San Francisco Bay Area or anywhere in California, call us at (415)441-8669 or toll free at 1-888-50EVANS (888-503-8267).

Statutory Definitions of Physical Abuse and Isolation

In one recent case,[1] a caregiver was arrested for the alleged physical elder abuse and isolation of his elderly patient.  The criminal prosecution is still pending but allegations in the case illustrate how seniors may potentially be subject to both physical elder abuse and isolation.

Physical elder abuse is defined under California law (Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code § 15610.63) as follows:

 (a) Assault, as defined in Section 240 of the Penal Code.

(b) Battery, as defined in Section 242 of the Penal Code.

(c) Assault with a deadly weapon or force likely to produce great bodily injury, as defined in Section 245 of the Penal Code.

(d) Unreasonable physical constraint, or prolonged or continual deprivation of food or water.

(e) Sexual assault, that means any of the following:

   (1) Sexual battery, as defined in Section 243.4 of the Penal Code.

   (2) Rape, as defined in Section 261 of the Penal Code.

   (3) Rape in concert, as described in Section 264.1 of the Penal Code.

   (4) Spousal rape, as defined in Section 262 of the Penal Code.

   (5) Incest, as defined in Section 285 of the Penal Code.

   (6) Sodomy, as defined in Section 286 of the Penal Code.

   (7) Oral copulation, as defined in Section 288a of the Penal Code.

   (8) Sexual penetration, as defined in Section 289 of the Penal Code.

   (9) Lewd or lascivious acts as defined in paragraph (2) of subdivision (b) of Section 288 of the Penal Code.

(f) Use of a physical or chemical restraint or psychotropic medication under any of the following conditions:

   (1) For punishment

   (2) For a period beyond that for which the medication was ordered pursuant to the instructions of a physician and surgeon licensed in the State of California, who is providing medical care to the elder or dependent adult at the time the instructions are given.

   (3) For any purpose not authorized by the physician and surgeon.

Isolation is defined in Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code §15610.43 as follows:

(1) Acts intentionally committed for the purpose of preventing, and that do serve to prevent, an elder or dependent adult from receiving his or her mail or telephone calls.

(2) Telling a caller or prospective visitor that an elder or dependent adult is not present, or does not wish to talk with the caller, or does not wish to meet with the visitor where the statement is false, is contrary to the express wishes of the elder or the dependent adult, whether he or she is competent or not, and is made for the purpose of preventing the elder or dependent adult from having contact with family, friends, or concerned persons.

(3) False imprisonment, as defined in Section 236 of the Penal Code.

(4) Physical restraint of an elder or dependent adult, for the purpose of preventing the elder or dependent adult from meeting with visitors.

Protecting Older Loved Ones

Families and friends of elders and dependent adults residing in any kind of facility or under the care of in-home caregivers need to visit and speak with them as often as possible to make sure they are not at risk of abuse or neglect by their caregivers.  If you see any bruises, scratch marks or other indications of physical abuse, alert the administrator of the facility and call counsel. To protect your loved one from financial exploitation, be sure to monitor their bank accounts frequently. Keep cash, checks, ATM cards and credit cards out of reach of caregivers.  Never, ever, grant a caregiver a power of attorney or give them a blank check.  Ever.  

Contact Us

Ingrid M. Evans can represent you or an older loved one who has been the victim of financial elder abuse in Santa Clara County or elsewhere in California.  Call her today at 415-441-8669 or toll free at 1-888-50EVANS (888-503-8267).or by email at <a href=””></a>.

[1] Evans Law Firm, Inc. was not involved in the case in any way.

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