elderly-woman-smiling-325Sadly, the persons who should love or care for a family member or charge with infirmities or old age, can and do perform terrible acts against their parents and the older people they care for. A trusted child or caregiver can succeed in cheating an elder out of money and property by means of mental, physical and or financial elder abuse. Elder abuse is achieved by coercion and undue influence coupled with the elder's fear of being alone and unassisted. Elders often give in to physical threats that the caregiver will leave them alone, hit them, or not take them to the bathroom. Elders are especially susceptible to emotional threats or fear that the family member will not love or continue to visit them.

The following is a list of things are some of the dangers I have seen during my years of practicing elder law. If you read through the list and recognize what people might try to do to you, you might be better able to withstand their influence or call someone to help you withstand it. Some people to call are listed at the end of this article. You can get their local phone numbers in the front of your phone book or online.

Children and caregivers can and do:












If anything like this is happening to you or someone you know who is over 65, it is elder abuse. The elder shouldn't just take it and keep quiet. Call someone who can stop the abuse. Here is a suggested list of who to call. If they can't help you, they'll give you the number of someone who can help.

Before any of the dangers listed above happens to you, you should form a relationship with an Estate Planning and Elder Law Attorney who will provide the legal documents that will keep you well cared for in case you become ill or lose mental or physical capacity to care for yourself. You can execute a Durable Power of Attorney for finances, an Advance Health Care Directive or Living Will for health care decisions, and even a Care Contract with a caregiver.

Remember, the only one you can trust to plan efficiently to take care of your interests is yourself. Make sure you are knowledgeable about the available powers of attorney for finances and for health decisions and have planned in advance what to do if you should become unable to manage your own financial and health affairs.

DERRYL H. MOLINA is an Estate Planning and Elder Law Attorney, as well as a mediator, in San Jose, California, who helps clients to execute, reform and administer trusts and offers assistance with conflict-resolution, Elder Law and Medi-Cal Planning. She can also handle your matter in contracts, Probate, Conservatorships or Guardianships. In fact, she can serve as your Full Life Care Planning Attorney. You can contact Derryl H. Molina at 408.244.4992, or at her email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  You can also visit her website at