Elder Abuse is a crime in California, but it can also give rise to a civil lawsuit. Under California law, an “elder” is defined as a person 65 years of age or older. California law also protects “dependent adults” who are between 18 to 64 years of age and have physical or mental limitations that restrict their ability to engage in daily activities or protect their own rights. Elder abuse can occur through physical abuse, neglect, isolation, abduction, financial abuse, or any other treatment resulting in physical harm or pain or mental suffering.
PHYSICAL ABUSE/NEGLECT: Perhaps most commonly thought of in the context of a nursing home or other assisted living facility, physical abuse or neglect can occur when a caregiver fails to properly attend to his or her patient. Signs of physical abuse or neglect include bedsores, issues communicating or personality changes, issues with hygiene, malnutrition or dehydration, etc. Physical elder abuse and neglect can result in severe physical, mental and emotional injuries to the victim, including death.
FINANCIAL ELDER ABUSE: In addition to physical abuse and neglect, an elder or dependent adult could also be subject to financial abuse. This occurs when a person takes or otherwise obtains real or personal property, such as a home, money, or jewelry that belongs to the elder or dependent adult for a wrongful purpose or with the intent to defraud, when the person assists in the taking or obtaining of the property, or when the person takes or obtains the property by undue influence.
If you suspect a loved one has been subject to elder abuse, do not wait to get help. KTL has litigated a number of elder abuse cases and approaches each one with a high level of compassion and understanding.