If you work with senior citizens in California, you may one day find yourself accused of abuse. Rather than physical abuse, it may be financial abuse. What does that mean, exactly?

To help clear up confusion, see what Forbes has to say about the matter. See how you can start to build your defense against elder abuse allegations.

Who is at risk?

Some senior citizens are more at risk of financial abuse than others. For instance, elderly people with poor mental health, who find themselves isolated and who need assistance with day-to-day living are commonly targeted. Women are more likely to become targets of this type of abuse, but senior citizens of all economic statuses are susceptible.

What are the warning signs?

It may have been specific warning signs that made someone accuse you of financial abuse. For example, your elderly patient may have granted you greater decision-making abilities, or she or he may shift specific financial practices. It could be that your patient’s family members or friends noticed odd banking behavior. Rather than financial, it could be physical warning signs that tip off loved ones, such as an elderly person who becomes depressed, anxious or withdrawn.

What can you do to prevent financial abuse?

Rather than facing accusations for financial abuse, you may want to protect your patient against this type of abuse. If so, you can encourage family and friends to visit your patient. Asking friends and family to check in on your elderly patient’s finances also offers a viable prevention method.

Do not take any chances with accusations of elder abuse, financial or otherwise. Contact a legal advocate to explore your rights.