Elder Abuse

What is Elder Abuse?

Elder abuse is the intentional or negligent causing of physical or emotional pain, bodily injury or general harm or preventing an elder from essential services, or the use of an elders finances or property to the benefit of another.There are many different types of Elderly Abuse including physical, emotional, and/or psychological harm. Elder abuse can also take the form of financial exploitation. The abuse can happen in the home or in setting such as a hospital or nursing home.


Types of Elder Abuse:

  • Physical abuse is inflicting, or threatening to inflict, physical pain or injury on a vulnerable elder, or depriving them of a basic need.
    • Signs of Physical abuse:
      • Bruises or Pressure Marks
      • Certain types of Burns
      • Broken Bones or Abrasions
      • Repeated unexplained injuries


  • Sexual abuse is the infliction of non-consensual sexual contact of any kind.
    • Signs of Sexual Abuse:
      • Stained or bloody undergarments
      • Venereal diseases or infections


  • Emotional or psychological abuse is the infliction of mental or emotional anguish or distress on an elder person through verbal or nonverbal acts. Includes threats, harassment and/or humiliation.
    • Signs of Emotional or psychological abuse
      • Uncommunicative and unresponsive
      • Unreasonably fearful or suspicious
      • Lack of interest in social contacts
      • Chronic physical or psychiatric health problems
      • Evasiveness


  • Financial or material exploitation is the illegal taking, misuse, or concealment of funds, property, or assets of a vulnerable elder. Financial exploitation includes fraud, taking money under false pretenses, forgery, forced property transfers, purchasing expensive items without permission, or denying the older person access to his or her own funds or home.
    • Signs of Financial Exploitation
      • Sudden changes in elder’s bank practices or balances
      • Unauthorized withdrawal of elder’s funds.
      • Abrupt changes in elder’s will or financial documents.


  • Neglect is the refusal or failure by those responsible to provide food, shelter, health care, or protection for a vulnerable elder.
    • Signs of Neglect
      • Bed sores
      • Poor Personal Hygiene
      • Sunken eyes or loss of weight
      • Unsanitary or unclean living conditions.
      • Under or Over Medicated.


  • Abandonment - The desertion of a vulnerable elder by anyone who has assumed the responsibility for care or custody of that person.


Preventing Elder Abuse

  • Stay aware of elder abuse by taking note of your elderly neighbor’s conditions. Be sure to pay particular attention to the elderly abuse warning signs
  • Report your suspicions to local adult services or local law enforcement agency
  • Stay aware of elder abuse by taking note of your elderly neighbor’s conditions. Be sure to pay particular attention to the elderly abuse warning signs.
  • Volunteerism is a great way to ensure elders are well taken care of and are not lonely. There are many local programs geared toward working with the elderly.
  • Look into local programs and support services (i.e. Meals on Wheels). The programs allow elders to defend against abuse by maintaining their independence, health and overall well-being.


 Reporting Abuse

Adult Protective Services
Fax: 505-476-4913

Department of Health Hotline

New Mexico Securities Division


PDF-icon Elder Abuse Information



Cibola County Law Enforcement:
Cibola County Sheriff Office(505) 876-2040
Acoma Pueblo Police Department(505) 552-6601
Grants Police Department(505) 287-5144
Laguna Pueblo Police Department(505) 552-6685
Milan Police Department(505) 287-4491
Pine Hill – Ramah Navajo Police Department(505) 775-3226
New Mexico State Police(505) 287-4377


Sandoval County Law Enforcement: 
Sandoval County Sheriff Office(505) 867-7526
Bernalillo Police Department(505) 867-2304
Cochiti Pueblo Police Department(505) 465-3136
Corrales Police Department(505) 898-7585
Cuba Police Department(505) 289-9157
Jemez Pueblo Police Department(575) 834-0468
Jemez Springs Police Department(575) 829-3345
Kewa Pueblo - B.I.A. Police
(505) 346-2868/2869
Rio Rancho Police Department(505) 891-5900
Sandia Pueblo Police Department(505) 890-1428
San Felipe Pueblo – B.I.A. Police
(505) 346-2868/2869
Santa Ana Pueblo Police Department(505) 891-7226
San Ysidro Police Department(575) 834-7581
New Mexico State Police(505) 841-9256


Valencia County Law Enforcement: 
Valencia County Sheriff Department(505) 865-9603
Belen Police Department(505) 864-6288
Bosque Farms Police Department(505) 869-2358
Isleta Pueblo Police Department(505) 869-6511
Los Lunas Police Department(505) 865-9130
New Mexico State Police(505) 841-9256


New Mexico State Law Enforcement: 
New Mexico State Police(505) 827-9300