When you entrust someone to take care of you or a loved one and they betray that trust, it causes pain, anger, and confusion. You ask, how could this happen? Fortunately, the law is on your side.
Here in California, the Elder Abuse and Dependent Adult Civil Protection Act (the Act) states, “The Legislature recognizes that elders and dependent adults may be subjected to abuse, neglect, or abandonment and that this state has a responsibility to protect these persons.” (Welf. & Inst. Code § 15600.)
To fully understand who the Act protects, it is necessary to understand that an “elder” is anyone 65 years old or older. A “dependent adult” is anyone between the ages of 18-64 that has certain mental or physical disabilities that keep them from being able to do normal activities or to protect themselves. “Dependent adult” also includes anyone ages 18-64 who is admitted as an inpatient in a 24-hour health facility.
The Act categorizes types of abuse as follows:
- Physical abuse, neglect, abandonment, isolation, abduction, or other treatment with resulting physical harm;
- The deprivation by a care custodian of goods or services that are necessary to avoid physical harm or mental suffering; and/or
- Financial abuses
These categories cover a broad range of activities, from violence to sexual abuse, to withholding medicines or therapy, to stealing or tricking someone out of their money and/or property, and on and on. They also apply to a broad category of institutions, people, and services. An abuse can occur in nursing homes, assisted living homes, convalescent homes, in your home, hospitals, clinics and essentially at the hands of anyone from care givers, doctors, friends, and even family.
The Act requires certain people in our society, known as “care custodians,” to mandatorily report any abuses. (Welf. & Inst. Code § 15630.) “Case custodians” include administers and employees of numerous facilities and institutions that are listed in the Act.
At the end of the day, however, you cannot always rely on other people’s eyes and ears, or for them to do the right thing.
If you suspect abuse it is imperative that you report it immediately by calling 911, your local police department, your county’s Adult Protection Services, or a powerful elder abuse lawyer that can serve as your representative and report the abuse for you.
Click here for warning signs of elder abuse.
The Dominguez Firm has the resources, reputation and skilled elder abuse lawyers to handle every step of the case, from the investigation through the trial. Also, if your loved one lacks the sound mind to sue or has passed away since the abuse, we can set up the necessary conservatorship or estate for you so you can still seek redress on their behalf.
We are compassionate and will work tirelessly to get you the justice and compensation you deserve. Through a nursing home lawsuit, your nursing home abuse lawyer can ensure wrongdoers are brought to justice and make sure others are kept safe in the future. If you suspect elder or dependent adult abuse, please do not hesitate to call us at 800-818-1818 for a free consultation. If there is no recovery, there is no fee!