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January 29, 2021

Legal Issues Related to Elder Abuse: Guides for Law Enforcement


Pocket Guide. Provides brief explanations of:

  • legal concepts, documents, and tools that may be misused to commit elder abuse or used properly to remedy it, and
  • issues and actions that justice system professionals should consider if they suspect elder abuse has occurred.

Desk Guide. Provides more information about Pocket Guide topics, as well as additional resources including:

  • tips for communicating with older individuals,
  • the differences between civil and criminal courts, and
  • entities that may be involved with elder abuse victims or perpetrators.

Desk Guide Template. Provides a template for state-specific adaptation of the Desk Guide.

Pocket Guide Download

Download a convenient searchable pdf to have all the Pocket Guide information available on your computer or mobile device. Printer-friendly versions also are available.

Download here

Desk Guide Download

Download a pdf of the Desk Guide to use as a reference and training tool and as handout materials at trainings. 

Download here

Desk Guide Template Download

The Desk Guide Template is highlighted to indicate areas where changes likely will be needed if you wish to adapt the desk guide for your state. 

Download here

The pocket-sized, spiral-bound, tabbed print resource is no longer available.

The Guides provide information on a variety of important topics:

Background Information

  • Types of Elder Abuse
  • Abusers & Risk Factors
  • Consent, Capacity, & Undue Influence
  • Adult Protective Services & Mandatory Reporting
  • Considerations for Community Corrections

Legal Documents and Tools

  • Deeds & Life Estates
  • Guardians/Conservators
  • Health Care Advance Directives
  • Joint Owners/Joint Accounts
  • Medicaid Planning
  • Nursing Homes & Assisted Living
  • Powers of Attorney
  • Representative Payees & VA Fiduciaries
  • Reverse Mortgages
  • Trusts
  • Wills

PDF Viewer

To view the pdfs, you may need to download the free Adobe Reader.


If you would like to share information about the Guides with colleagues, please use our flyer. It provides an overview of the Guides’ content and indicates how to obtain them. The flyer is available for download.


If you have questions about the Pocket Guide or the Desk Guide, please contact the Commission at [email protected] or 202-662-8690.

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