Southern California is growing older. From Los Angeles to Long Beach, Baby Boomers make up a significant portion of the area’s population. As boomers age, the demand for qualified caregivers and retirement communities continues to rise. While most of these facilities do their best to provide care for the elderly, there are many who engage in blatant elder abuse. According to Adult Protective Services, 90 percent of reported elder abuse is committed by family members and not professional caregivers. Under the California Welfare and Institutions Code 15630, anyone who is responsible for the care or custody of an elder or dependent adult is required to report any abuse or wrongdoing. Failure to report is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 6 months in jail or a $1,000 fine or even both. If the unreported abuse results in death, the caregiver or provider could face a punishment of up to one year in jail or a $5,000 fine or both.
Common Types of Elder Abuse
Seniors, along with children, are often the most vulnerable people in Southern California. While the elderly deserve to be treated with respect, far too many nursing care facilities, professional caregivers and sadly family members have not only committed physical and emotional abuse, they have also allowed these unethical practices to persist. Here are some of the most common cases of elder abuse in Los Angeles.
- Physical Abuse: Any intentional or unwanted force inflicted on a senior that results in physical pain, impairment or injury is considered physical abuse. The common examples include, shoving physical assaults or forcing a person to inappropriately use drugs or confining a person against their will.
- Emotional Abuse: Constant intimidation tactics, such as yelling and threats of bodily harm are considered emotional abuse. It can also include ridiculing, humiliation or terrorizing an elderly person.
- Neglect: Many seniors are not able to physically take care of themselves and depend on the help of others. Any failure of caregivers to fulfill their obligations can be considered neglect. It can also be one of the most complicated types of abuse. Neglect can be intentional, such as failing to provide food, water, shelter. It can also be unintentional due to ignorance or ignoring victim’s basic needs.
- Fraud : Many seniors are not mentally able to process information. They can be easily become victims of crimes, such as identity theft, forgery or having personal items and money stolen from them. Fraud can also include scams, such as bogus charities, bad investment advice or phony sweepstakes prizes.
Has a Loved One Been the Victim of Elder Abuse? The Los Angeles Elder Abuse Attorneys at JML Law Can Help
Whether it is our parents, grandparents or a close loved one, seniors deserve to live a good quality of life. The abuse of Southern California senior citizens should never be tolerated. It is not only a crime to inflict elder abuse, it is also a crime for caregivers and nursing facilities to ignore these unethical practices. If you or someone you know has been the victim of elder abuse, the Los Angeles attorney at JML Law can help. Their team of personal injury attorneys bring an extensive track record of protecting the rights of each client and always looking for their best interests. To learn more, contact their Los Angeles personal injury law office today and schedule a consultation to discuss your case.