California Policy to Protect the Elderly and Dependents

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The State Legislature of California recognizes it's possible for the elderly, disabled, dependent adults to get abused. We elder abuse attorneys already know they get neglected or abandoned all the time.

  • With the prompting of lawyers like us, along with constituency complaints, the Golden State recognized they had a responsibility to protect citizens like your mom, dad, uncle, etc.

So the California Legislature enacted the Elder Abuse & Dependent Adult Civil Protection Act. Objectively, this was to protect this vulnerable class of state residents. In particular, this targeted nursing care neglect. This page discusses what consumers need to know about the rights of elders under state law.

What Type of Legislation Does California Have to Protect Seniors?

There is legislation deliberately enacted to place attention on the needs and difficulties of the elderly. Also, it puts into action legislation to concentrate on severe risks.

Its object is to protect these defenseless California residents who are in danger. Among the worst types of abuse is outright neglect or abandonment.

What is EDACPA?

In short, EDACPA is the Elder And Dependent Adult Civil Protection Act (“EDACPA.”) What is says basically, is if someone neglects or abuses the elderly, physically or financially, they can be held civilly liable under EDACPA.

  • EDACPA is a civil remedy. So this civil section is in addition to any criminal penalties available under the Penal Code, etc. And this assures that abusers are liable to pay victims and their families money.

The intent of EDACPA is to prevent caretakers from giving the shabby elderly care, thereby preventing the creation of abuse victims, to begin with.

But What Happens to Seniors When Abuse Still Happens?

But alas, the greatest people in our lives are in jeopardy. So getting abused, neglected, and abandoned happens. What we do about it is what matters. Even though they get tossed aside by their families or caregivers, others do care. ELFPI cares.

  • Of course, these are the vulnerable elderly and dependent adults.

Usually, these poor souls suffer physical disabilities. Often, compromised health places them in a more weak position against these things.

Elements that often lead to abuse, neglect, and abandonment can be due to:

  • Economic instability.
  • Caregiver resentment can come into play.
  • Sometimes the responsibilities and stress of caring for an insane person are too much.
  • So this can lead to drug or alcohol abuse. Often this causes ill-treatment.

The State of California will protect those elderly and dependent adults. The idea is fostering and promoting community services for their well-being.

Hence, social and economic standards of living get increased. Naturally, this should help protect those elder and dependent adults. So let's take a look at the legislation below.

The items included in this piece of legislation include:

There are state guidelines in place to help protect the elderly or dependent adult. So this gets done by specifying when protective service agencies investigate allegations of abuse.

This applies equally to older persons and dependent adults. Also, this outlines the role of law enforcement. And when necessary, it will have the minimum level of protection in each county of California.

  • The sick senior citizen or dependent adult is considered a disadvantaged class.
  • In any event, abuse or neglect cases don't always get prosecuted as criminal matters.
  • Making matters worse, only a limited amount of civil cases get brought.
  • Sometimes they can be brought as a private attorney general's action.

These cases often go un-prosecuted criminally because of the criminal proceedings standard of proof.

In a criminal trial, the evidence of guilt must be beyond a reasonable doubt. This is because an accused is at risk of imprisonment and loss of freedom.

  • Often, the senior or patient is gullible, insane, or "out of it."
  • So lack of a reliable victim witness and other evidence hurts the victim's case criminally.

What Are Some Other Reasons Crimes Against Victims Go Unpunished in an Elder and Dependent Adult Case?

But other reasons for lack of prosecution beyond difficulties with proof include court delays. Victims can pass away of old age before a jury even sees the case. So there is a lack of incentive to prosecute the circumstances at all.

But we hope you enjoyed this discussion. Most of all, this is what consumers need to know about the rights of elders under California law.

Injured? Get Help Now!

If you got injured due to elderly or nursing home abuse, contact: Ehline Law Firm Personal Injury Attorneys APLC ("ELFPI.") 633 West 5th Street #2890 Los Angeles, CA 90071 (213) 596-9642.

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