Elder Abuse Law California
Elder Abuse is a serious criminal offense which involves mistreatment of elderly adults in their own homes, their relative’s homes, or even in care facilities. This can be dealt to the aged individuals in the form of physical or emotional trauma, and can have severe negative consequences on their well-being. Many of us are completely unaware that such activities even occur, but by improving our knowledge of the laws and the warning signs, we can become better at helping these people. Over half a million cases of elder abuse are reported in the US every year, but it is thought that there are millions of other which go unreported.
What are the different kinds of Elder Abuse?
We often tend to associate violence when we hear the word ‘abuse’. However, physical pain is not the only way in which a person can experience trauma. In recent years, many different forms of abuse have been categorized. Now, we understand that elder abuse can fall into one of these groups:
- Emotional abuse
- Sexual abuse
- Financial exploitation
In emotional abuse, the caregivers will often speak to the elderly individual in an intimidating or demeaning manner, forcing the individual into isolation and causing him great mental distress. Yelling at the elderly, or treating them harshly, and even ignoring them is considered grounds for abuse.
Sexual abuse involves contact with the individual without their consent. However, this can also be extended to acts of forcing the person to watch sex acts or pornography against their will, or forcing them to undress.
Caregivers who abandon the elder individual are liable for neglect. Failure to fulfill their responsibilities – whether intentionally or unintentionally – is a major cause of distress for older people who are too frail to care for themselves.
Some people may also exploit the elder individual’s condition and extort money from them, or forge their signatures for financial purposes. This is not only illegal, but is also a category of elder abuse. Older people are also frequently the victims of scams and fake lottery prizes, which is why they need added protection.
How do I identify a victim?
The signs are often easy to point out. Elderly individuals may show signs of injury which cannot be explained, or exhibit isolated behavior. They may even fear social contact because of the attitude shown towards them by their caregivers. If you observe a decline in the sanitary conditions of the individual, or a sharp change in their financial situation, you should be concerned. The caregivers may be violating elder abuse law. California is one state where these laws are particularly strict, and the enforcement agencies maintain a vigilant watch for cases of violence. Understanding elder abuse law in California can help residents of the state identify victims and report cases to the Adult Protection Society (APS), which is responsible for protecting the interests of the elderly.
It is also important to maintain a compassionate and objective attitude when dealing with patients of elder abuse.
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