Physical Abuse

Physical abuse is the intentional infliction of discomfort, pain or bodily injury.

The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office annually prosecutes several of these physical abuse cases involving elderly victims. The office is committed to making sure that the perpetrators are punished to the fullest extent of the law.

Older adults, their loved ones, caretakers or any witnesses should immediately report physical abuse or suspected physical abuse to police by calling 911 or the Los Angeles County Elder Abuse Hotline at (877) 4-R-SENIORS ((877) 477-3646).

Warning Signs

  • There are lacerations, abrasions, fractures, welts, bruises, discoloration or swelling not associated with a known medical condition or treatment.

  • The older adult has unexplained pain or tenderness on mere touch.

  • There is evidence of burns caused by cigarettes or ropes or other restraints.

  • The older adult has a detached retina, bleeding or a scalp wound.

  • The older adult becomes withdrawn or seems unusually protective of a suspected abuser.

  • The caregiver refuses to allow family members or friends to visit the older adult alone.


  • Older adults should not be afraid to speak up and notify friends, family and police about abuse and neglect.

  • Older adults should keep in touch with family and friends and avoid becoming isolated.

  • Friends and relatives of an older adult should closely watch the behavior of the older adult and the actions of the caregiver.

  • Intervene immediately when abuse is suspected.

  • Educate others about how to recognize and report abuse.