Contact Us Today!


Recognizing the Signs of Elder Abuse

Feb 4, 2019


 It is no secret that aging is tough not only on the body but on the mind, as well. That makes it difficult for elderly patients to defend themselves against potential abusers, or even vocalize that they are being abused physically or financially. Recently, WalletHub ranked Arizona the fifth overall state in the nation in terms of protections for the elderly. That said, elder abuse can happen anytime and anywhere. You should be able to be your loved one’s strongest advocate if you ever suspect abuse. It can be difficult to recognize when someone is being abused at the hands of a caretaker or nursing home staff member, so here are some of the common signs of abuse, according to healthcare professionals. 

Physical Signs of Abuse

 It is not uncommon for the elderly to be easily injured in a fall. However, it is important to keep in mind that visible injuries could also be a sign of elder abuse, especially if they seem more prevalent than usual. Typical abuse signs include:


  • Unexplained cuts, bruises, burns, or scratches
  • Sprained joints
  • Broken bones
  • The person does not want to see a doctor about the injuries


It is also possible for the elderly to be sexually assaulted, whether they are forced to touch someone inappropriately, forced to undress, or are raped. Some physical signs of sexual abuse are:

  • Torn or bloody clothes and underwear
  • Sexually transmitted infections
  • Bruises around the breasts or genitals
  • Genital bleeding


Psychological Abuse

According to WebMD, psychological abuse is an action that hurts someone emotionally. That includes threatening, yelling, name-calling, condescension, and controlling behavior. If your loved one is showing any of the following signs, he or she may be struggling with this form of abuse:


  • Acting withdrawn
  • Unexplained behavioral changes
  • Rocking back and forth
  • Depression or anxiety
  • Changes in sleep patterns


Financial Abuse

This type of abuse can be hard to spot, especially if your loved one is not aware it is happening. It can be easy for the elderly to disclose their bank information to people they trust, who in turn threaten their property or money. That includes using credit cards or bank accounts without permission or forcing the elderly into including them in their wills. This may not only happen at the hands of a caretaker; it is easy for the elderly to fall victim to phone and internet scams as well. Make sure you are looking out for:


  • Unexplained bank account withdrawals
  • Changes in legal documents
  • Stealing cash or income checks
  • Seemingly forged signatures or identity theft
  • Unpaid bills


Neglectful Abuse

 Elder neglect can lead to a sharp decline in health, and even death. Neglectful caretakers could be withholding basic necessities like food, water, clothing, and medication. Take notice of whether your loved one is:


  • Unclean, messy, dirty, or has rashes
  • Rapidly losing weight
  • Has bedsores
  • Missing devices such as walkers, hearing aids, or eyeglasses


When to Contact an Attorney

Long term effects of abuse can hinder your loved one’s recovery. If you suspect abuse at the hands of a caretaker or scammer, call the experienced attorneys at Wattel and York for your free consultation at 877-572-4143.

Online Reviews

“Amazing people, they had my claim for about a week before they were able to get my truck totaled out. Otherwise I would have been stuck with a truck that had heavy front end damage if they hadn’t stepped in to help me. I tried to deal with my insurance company myself for over a month and that got me nowhere, all I got was a massive headache and a messed up truck. They are very professional and act quickly on your claim. I highly recommend them to anyone who is looking for help.”

Candy J.


“I was in an accident and decided to call Wattel and York. After months of going to a Chiropractor, I finally felt better. When it came time for settlement, the insurance company was making an offer I wanted to accept, Mr. Wattel advised against it and felt the insurance company was shortchanging me. He recommended I file a lawsuit and that will get them to cave. Well, Dave filed suit, and sure enough, the insurance company increased their offer by $4,000! I am very satisfied with how my case was handled.”

Nardeasha S.


“Wattel & York were flat out outstanding with my personal injury case. They made the process painless and kept in constant communication throughout the entire time. Any questions I might’ve had were promptly answered and detail oriented. They gave me crucial advice that I would’ve otherwise not been aware of. I couldn’t have asked for more from them. Put your trust in these guys, you won’t be disappointed. Thanks Wattel & York.”

Mattew P.


“Thank you so much for all your hard work on our behalf! Thinking I could handle it on my own, I was originally reluctant to take my accident claim to an attorney. But I am SO glad I called you instead. Your people were always helpful, pleasant and responsive at every step along the way. You represented us with honesty and integrity and made a traumatic experience as painless as it could be. And best of all, you helped us get a settlement that was fair and far more than I could ever have negotiated on my own! I highly recommend Wattel &York to anyone who has suffered a personal injury.”

Cathy M.

“I was the passenger in a vehicle that was 'T- Boned' at an intersection in 2014. The issues of responsibility and recovery became a difficult and convoluted confusion. I really needed help. This Team at Wattel and York walked me patiently and encouragingly through difficult months, sorting through issues and finally arriving at a satisfactory conclusion. I especially want to name two great and encouraging "warriors" of Wattel and York who directed me along the way..Brian Torba and Melissa Patterson..to them and the whole team I say "Thank You" with heart felt gratitude. Sincerely, God Bless You.”

Robert G.

“Honesty. Integrity. Transparency. Partnership. Wattel & York brought all of these qualities and more to my accident case. I'd love to thank all of the team members who helped me with the process: David Guzman, who conducted the initial interview in my home, Aly Shomar-Esparza, who seamlessly guided me through paperwork and filings, Debbie Harrach, who conducted final review, paperwork revisions and scheduling, and Thomas Grisoni, who counseled me before and attended my deposition. I never felt alone during the arduous process and always knew there was a professional team looking out for my best interest. I highly recommend Wattel & York if you are unfortunately involved in an accident that was not your fault.”

Russ W.

“I was a passenger in a car that got t-boned a few years ago and got a huge gash. I didn't know a lot about lawyers, so I basically just picked one on the flip of a coin. I called Wattel and York and they explained everything, I went into the office and filled out paperwork. Got treatment on my gash over the time I worked with them, glad I did as it opened back up a couple times and bled. They did really good, got me the maximum amount of money, and made sure I was well taken care of. I was updated from time to time so that was good. The only thing I might change is I never got to thank or talk to my lawyer. I think it was because I was already used to dealing with the lady at their Glendale office so they just kept her as my point of contact. So it's okay, I'll thank them with a good review. The last thing I could say about them is months after I thought my case was over they called me and said they had another check for me for a few hundred dollars. Apparently, they negotiated with the hospital I went to after the accident. It was a nice surprise and shows they really had my interests in mind.”

Trent B.

“Wattel & York has been great for me in the past few years. I was involved in a really bad accident while I was on Active Duty in Yuma, Arizona and they have been patient with me every step of the way through a very long process. I would recommend them to anyone thank you for all your help.”

Levy G.

“Appreciate David taking the time to speak with me. He was most kind. From the front line with the receptionist, to him, the firm was a class act all the way around.”

Claire B.

“Dave Wattel represented me and my son on a Personal Injury case from a motor vehicle accident back in 2009. Jake P. handled my deposition and Dave did the Quarterbacking. The insurance company hired NFL referee Ed Hochuli's firm to try and deny our claim. But Wattel & York made it look as easy as Tom Brady on the football field. The result was more than acceptable and my son and I were compensated for our injuries and rehabilitation. Dave Wattel cares about his clients. If I ever find myself in a situation like this again, Wattel & York will be on speed dial!!”

Vince C.

Our Office Locations


2175 N. Alma School Rd #B-107 Chandler, AZ 85224

Map & Directions [+]


4901 W. Glendale Avenue Glendale, AZ 85301

Map & Directions [+]


2942 N. 24th Street, Suite 105 Phoenix, AZ 85016

Map & Directions [+]


2933 N. Campbell Ave. Tucson, AZ 85719

Map & Directions [+]


1102 S. 4th Avenue Yuma AZ, 85364

Map & Directions [+]

Newport Beach

260 Newport Center Drive, Suite 100 Newport Beach, CA 92660

Map & Directions [+]


6314 19th Street West, Suite 15 Fircrest, WA 98466

Map & Directions [+]

Phone Number


Follow Our Firm


Contact Us Today For
Your Free Consultation

We are available to assist you 24 hours a day!