An elder, as defined by California law, is a person who is 65 years or older. There are specific laws that are designed to protect this population group from abuse and neglect.
And what qualifies as abuse? There is a wide range in what is considered to be abuse, from financial to physical and emotional, and can include the deprivation of goods and services that are necessary to avoid physical and emotional harm.
Financial elder abuse is defined by the illegal or unethical exploitation of the funds or assets of an elder person.
Emotional abuse is caused if a caregiver intimidates an elder, causing confusion and fear, or isolates the elder from visitors and phone calls.
If a caregiver abandons an elder, or takes them out of state without permission, this also constitutes abuse.
Sexual molestation or assault constitutes abuse.
Inflicting physical pain or the use of physical or pharmacological restraints as punishment constitutes abuse.
Neglect, as in the failure to provide adequate clothing, medical attention, food and proper shelter constitutes abuse.
California law protects the elderly under a detailed set of laws. A caregiver who is convicted of abusing an elder in his or her care can be sentenced to prison for varying lengths of time and also be subject to fines.
Often elder abuse does not result in a criminal proceeding, rather it is handled within the Probate or Civil courts.
Our law office specifically handles elder abuse cases within the context of probate law. This often includes elder abuse within a conservatorship proceeding, financial elder abuse, elder abuse due to neglect or isolation, and elder abuse related to changes to estate planning documents such as a Trust.
If you believe someone you know may be the victim of elder abuse, contact our office an attorney as soon as possible. Our Elder Law office in Walnut Creek offers a free 30 minute consultation. Call 925-322-1795 for your appointment.