Elder Abuse Resource Center

This resource center for seniors and family members provides information on elder abuse, California elder abuse laws, and resources to get help if you or a loved one has been the victim of elder abuse or neglect. 

Elder Abuse Overview

Learn about the scope of elder abuse and neglect in California and what to watch for. 

  • Elder Abuse Statistics
    • Learn just how common elder abuse and nursing home abuse are.
  • Nursing Home Abuse Guide
    • This complete guide to nursing home abuse and neglect covers what to watch for, types of nursing home abuse, and what to do if you suspect a loved one is being abused.
  • Signs of Elder Abuse
    • Here are the many warning signs that a loved one has been the victim of elder abuse or neglect.
  • Signs of Abuse in Seniors with Dementia
    • Elder abuse is especially challenging to detect when the victim has dementia. Here are signs to watch for in loved ones with Alzheimer’s or dementia. 

Types of Elder Abuse & Neglect

Abuse of older adults comes in many forms. The term “abuse” typically refers to intentional actions while “neglect” refers to failure to act or provide what an older adult needs by someone acting as a caregiver or otherwise with a duty of care.

Below are resources to help you understand elder abuse and the many forms of neglect.

  • Types of Elder Abuse in Nursing Homes
    • Learn about the types of abuse and neglect that occur in nursing homes and how to recognize them.
  • Understaffing in Nursing Homes
    • Understaffing is a very common problem that frequently contributes to neglect in nursing homes and other elder care facilities.
  • Physical Abuse
    • This is one of the most frequently reported forms of elder abuse and includes hitting, slapping, pushing, kicking, burning, or any other intentional uses of force that cause distress, fear, injury, or death.
  • Financial Abuse
    • Older adults are often targeted for financial exploitation in the form of scams. Financial abuse can also involve predatory lending, identity theft, abusing a joint or custodial bank account or power of attorney, or convincing a senior to sign over property or money.
  • Psychological, Psychosocial, and Emotional Abuse
    • This form of abuse can include insulting or belittling, threatening, harassing, screaming at, or humiliating a senior. It can also involve isolating the senior or depriving them of social interaction.
  • Sexual Abuse
    • Sexual abuse in nursing homes is an underreported and hidden epidemic. In an elderly care facility, sexual assault may be committed by staff members, medical professionals, visitors, and other residents.
  • Medication Errors
    • Medication mistakes like improper administration, failure to provide medication, and inadequate medication management can happen anywhere, but medication errors in nursing homes and other care facilities can be a sign of neglect.
  • Malnutrition
    • Malnutrition in the elderly is so common, it’s believed to affect 50% of older adults. In nursing homes and medical residential facilities, malnourishment may indicate neglect.
  • Dehydration
  • Nursing Home Falls
    • Falls in nursing homes are very common, but facilities have a duty to provide a safe environment and take steps to prevent falls. Learn why falls can be a sign of neglect in nursing homes.
  • Bedsores
    • Seniors and dependent adults with mobility issues and chronic health conditions are at a high risk of bedsores which can quickly worsen and threaten their health. Learn about bedsores and nursing home neglect.
  • Infections and infestations
    • Infections and infestations, like mites that cause scabies, can be a form of neglect if they are not treated promptly. Two of the most common and serious infections in nursing homes are MRSA and sepsis.
  • Wandering & Elopement Incidents
    • Wandering is a common behavior in older adults with dementia. Nursing homes have a duty to prevent elopement, or residents leaving the grounds unsupervised. Nursing home elopement is very serious and often indicates neglect.

California Dependent Adult & Elder Abuse Law

Learn about dependent adult and elder abuse laws in California. 

  • California Elder Abuse and Dependent Adult Civil Protection Act(EADACPA)
    • Better known as the Elder Abuse Act, this broad legislation protects dependent adults and elderly people from abandonment, neglect, abuse, and financial exploitation. 
  • California Elder Abuse Law Penal 368 PC
    • Penal Code 368 adds criminal sentencing enhancements for abuse, exploitation, and neglect of a senior.
  • Neglect and Abuse of Disabled Adults
    • Learn about laws specific to the abuse and neglect of disabled adults in California. 
  • Can You Put a Camera in a Nursing Home?
    • Learn about the legality of placing cameras in a nursing home room and how it can help you protect a loved one from abuse or neglect.
  • Negligence in Assisted Living Facilities in California
    • This guide covers the most common forms of negligence in California assisted living facilities (or residential care facilities for the elderly). 
  • Wrongful Death in Assisted Living Facilities
    • This guide covers the duties an assisted living or RCFE facility has toward its residents and when the facility may be held responsible for the death of a resident.

Resources for Seniors & Families

Here are resources to help families and seniors explore care options, understand their rights, and get help if they suspect abuse or neglect.

Types of California Care Facilities

The types of elder care facilities in California can be overwhelming. Here’s an overview of care options including skilled nursing facilities (nursing homes), residential care facilities for the elderly (RCFEs or assisted living), adult day programs, and more.

Nursing Homes vs Assisted Living

Learn about the differences between nursing homes (skilled nursing facilities) and assisted living (residential care facilities for the elderly).

How to Choose a Nursing Home

This guide helps you find a nursing home in California, compare nursing home ratings, and know what to look for.

Nursing Home Resident Rights

Learn about the rights of a nursing home resident in California.  

How to Report Elder Abuse in California

This in-depth guide covers how to report elder abuse and nursing home abuse in California with links to online reporting systems. 

California Ombudsmen

Here is what you should know about long-term care ombudsmen in California and their role in investigating and resolving cases of nursing home abuse.

What to Do if You Are a Victim of Elder Abuse

This guide covers the steps you can take if you are the victim of elder abuse including organizations and departments to contact for help. 

Elder Neglect & Abuse Prevention

Learn about important steps you can take to prevent elder abuse and neglect in your family and community. 

Nursing Home Trust Funds

Nursing home trust funds are accounts held by long-term care facilities on behalf of residents to cover additional expenses they incur. Here is what seniors and families should know.

Assisted Living Eviction Rights

Learn about the circumstances in which a resident in an assisted living facility can be evicted in California and residents’ rights.


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Jean’s mother was a victim of neglect while at a skilled nursing facility, resulting in surgery that she did not survive. Berman was there to listen and provide support that the client needed.
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Michele’s mother suffered a wrongful death at a California nursing home. William M. Berman and the attorneys at Berman & Riedel, LLP helped litigate the case with successful results.
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Ira’s wife suffered a traumatic brain injury due to negligence at a skilled nursing facility, and our team of attorneys worked hard to ensure that Ira’s wife and his family received the compensation that they rightfully deserved.
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Blog, Insights & News

In The News

June 15, 2023

Nursing Home Elopement – Dementia Wandering Behavior & Nursing Home Negligence

Elopement is one of many risks to older adults with dementia. Even in the early stages of dementia, wandering behavior can be dangerous as seniors […] Read More
February 15, 2023

Medication Errors in Nursing Homes – A Common and Dangerous Form of Nursing Home Negligence

Most nursing home residents rely on a careful treatment regimen and medication to maintain their health and quality of life. When nursing homes, physicians, nurses, […] Read More
January 15, 2023

Can You Get a Concussion Without Hitting Your Head? – Dispelling Common Concussion Myths

A concussion is a type of brain injury that’s common in all types of accidents, from car accidents to falls. Unfortunately, many concussions are not […] Read More

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are answers to common questions people have about personal injury cases and working with a lawyer. During your initial consultation, we will be happy to answer questions that are particular to your case.

How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Personal Injury Attorney?

The attorneys at Berman & Riedel, LLP, accept cases on a contingency-fee basis. This type of agreement means you do not pay any attorneys’ fees out-of-pocket for legal representation. Attorneys’ fees are also contingent on the outcome of your case.

You benefit from legal representation in exchange for an agreed-upon percentage of a settlement or jury award. We will only recover a fee if you recover compensation.

Can You Tell Me How Much My Case Is Worth?

There is no way to determine the exact value of a personal injury case, especially early in your case. However, an experienced attorney can give you an estimated range based on their experience with similar cases.

There are many factors that may influence the value of your case, such as:

  • Your total financial or economic damages
  • The severity of your injuries
  • The impact of your injuries on your daily life
  • The strength of your case
  • Whether you share fault for your accident
  • Insurance policy limits 

Some damages are easy to calculate, such as lost wages and medical bills. Calculating the value of diminished earnings for the rest of your life or future medical needs; however, may require the help of experts. Non-economic damages like pain and suffering have no intrinsic financial value. These damages are challenging to calculate. 

If your case goes before a jury, you may potentially be able to recover more than you could through a settlement. However, this introduces a new element of risk: the jury. The circumstances of your accident and even how sympathetic you or the defendant are can influence the outcome.

During your consultation, and throughout your case, we will help you understand how these factors influence your case. We will also work tirelessly to document the value of all your damages and pursue maximum compensation on your behalf.

Will My Case Go to Trial?

The vast majority of cases are resolved by reaching a settlement agreement outside of court. Very few personal injury cases actually go to trial, but it is more likely if the facts in your case are in dispute, a legal issue is being contested, or you have a high-value case.

An experienced lawyer will build your case as if it will go to trial from the beginning. The stronger your case and evidence, the more likely a fair settlement will be reached.

How Do I Know If I Need a Personal Injury Lawyer?

If your case involves mostly property damage or minor injuries, you likely do not need a lawyer to handle a claim with the insurance company. The more serious your injuries, or the more complex your case, the more important it becomes to seek experienced legal counsel.

Remember that the insurance company is not on your side, even if the insurance adjuster seems sympathetic and you receive a settlement offer. If you are being blamed for your accident or sustained serious injury, a lawyer will help you protect your rights and build the strongest case possible. This includes calculating the full value of your current and future losses.

Legal representation is also vital if your case involves a complex area of law such as elder abuse or neglect, premises liability, commercial vehicle accidents, medical malpractice, or serious work-related accidents. Determining liability, navigating decades of legal precedence, and interpreting specific statutes in these cases is best done with years of relevant legal experience.

Do You Accept Cases Outside of San Diego?

While our law office is located in San Diego, Berman & Riedel, LLP, accepts cases throughout the state of California.


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