Estate PlanninG


As World Elder Abuse Awareness Day is around the corner, we would like this opportunity to shine a light on this issue and point out some keyways to not only spread awareness but point out signs of abuse that may save a life.

Elder abuse is the harming of an older person. It can include neglect, physical, emotional, financial or sexual abuse. About 1 in 10 Americans age 60+ have experienced abuse.

Some facts everyone should know:

  • Without decent health care and public resources, the elder population becomes more at risk for abuse;
  • Elder abuse impacts all communities;
  • Elder abuse creates health care issues and legal costs.

What can we do to prevent abuse?

  • Learn the signs of elder abuse and neglect;
  • Talk to friends and family members about what elder abuse is and the signs;
  • Contact a local Adult Protective Services or Long-Term Care Ombudsman to learn how to support their work helping older people and adults with disabilities who may be more at risk.

What are the signs of elder abuse?

Emotional & Behavioral Signs

  • Unusual changes in behavior or sleep
  • Fear or anxiety

Physical Signs

  • Broken bones, bruises, and welts
  • Dirtiness, poor nutrition or dehydration
  • Poor living conditions
  • Missing daily living aids (glasses, walker, and medications)

Financial Signs

  • Unusual changes in bank account or money management
  • Unusual or quick changes in a will or other financial documents

How can we report suspected abuse?

No matter how old we are, justice requires that we be treated as full members of our communities. If we notice some of these signs of abuse, it is our duty to report it to the proper authorities. Programs such as Adult Protective Services (APS) and the Long-Term Care Ombudsmen are here to help. For reporting numbers, contact Eldercare Locator at 1-800-677-1116 (

Contra Costa Senior Legal Services

Phone: (925) 609-7900

Ombudsman Services of Contra Costa

Phone: (925) 685-2070

The Ivette M. Santaella, an attorney at Santaella Legal Group, APC, located in San Ramon and serving Danville, Dublin, Pleasanton and the east bay, assists family with planning to insure that an elder is protected and advocates for the prevention of elder abuse.