Elder Abuse


This website is intended to assist affiliated healthcare professional of Stanford University Medical Center and the surrounding community with questions and management about suspected elder and dependent adult abuse.

Definition of
Elder/Dependent Adult Abuse

Elder abuse can be divided into three main categories -
1. abuse/neglect by another at home, 2. at an institution, or 3. self neglect. Elder abuse refers to an act or omission that results in harm or potential harm to the health or welfare of a person age 65 or older. It can include:

  • neglect (intentional or unintentional)
  • abandonment
  • physical abuse - including excessive medical or physical restraint, or withholding of medication, including pain medication
  • sexual abuse
  • financial abuse
  • violation of rights - including abduction and isolation
  • psychological abuse

State law on elder abuse often couples it with dependent adult abuse. A dependent adult is someone 18-64 who has physical or mental limitations that restrict his or her ability to carry out normal activities, or to protect his or her rights.

Two factors that may make an older or dependent adult more vulnerable to abuse are social isolation and mental impairment. However, in some situations, living with a caregiver or friend may increase the chances for abuse to occur. Medical visits in a safe and private environment may be the only opportunity for the patient to tell someone about the abuse.

In this website you will find out how to screen for, observe, document, and report suspected elder or dependent adult abuse.


Social Work
SHC 3-5091


Risk Management

Stanford Geriatric Health Services

Palo Alto Police
(650) 329-2413

Report Elder/ Dependent Adult Abuse
(800) 414-2002
for Santa Clara County

Report Long Term Care Facility Abuse
(800) 231-4024

Sexual Assault
If sexual assault is involved or suspected, do NOT do a pelvic exam. When you report to police or APS, they will make arrangements for forensic examination and counseling by SART (Sexual Assault Response Team) professionals. The Santa Clara County SART location is at Valley Medical Center.

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