Sunday, June 21, 2009


California Elder Abuse Law - General Information:

What Is Elder Abuse? Elder abuse can be an intentional act (abuse) or a lack of knowledge/ability to provide care to an older person (neglect).

Elder abuse can occur in a variety of ways that include assaultive acts, neglect, financial exploitation and/or psychological or emotional mistreatment. An elderly person is defined as someone who is age 65 or older.

Assault includes causing pain and/or injury by molesting, slapping, bruising, forced sex, cutting, burning, restraining.

Neglect includes refusal or failure to provide adequate care, food, shelter, clothing, medicine, and/or medical aides (glasses, dentures, walkers).

Financial exploitation includes illegal or improper use of cash, credit cards, funds or other assets.

Psychological/emotional mistreatment includes mental suffering or despair caused by name calling, yelling, insulting, ignoring, isolating, threatening, or demanding acts.

Abuse may also include the violation of basic rights such as the right to worship as one chooses, the right to assembly, the freedom to be left alone, and the right to handle oneís personal and financial affairs unless declared incapable of doing so by due process of law.

Indicators Of Elder Abuse.

Signs of elder abuse are noticeable changes in physical conditions and behavioral patterns such as:

Unexplained bruises, cuts, burns

Increased physiological pain

Dehydration or malnourishment

Overly medicated without cause

Unusual confinement

Lack of cleanliness or grooming

Fearful to speak in front of caregiver

Shame, anxiety, embarrassment

Sudden change in mental status

Unusual or large bank withdraws

Unexpected closing of bank accounts

Transfer of assets, deeds, trusts

The signs of elder abuse listed above are generally a combination of factors.

General Profile Of The Abused:

Most often female

Physically or mentally impaired

Dependent physically or mentally

Frequently exhibits behavior problems

General Profile Of The Abuser:

The profile of a person that abuses the elderly may vary but generally can be categorized in one or more of the following:

Often a family member/caregiver inexperienced in providing care

Exhibits ineffective coping skills

Under financial strain

Multiple personal problems

Substance abuser (drugs/alcohol)

Marital conflict or difficulties

Violent family history

Intimidating behavior

Socially isolated with poor self-image

Where To Get Help If Elder Abuse Is Suspected.

If alleged abuse occurs in the community, reports of the abuse may be made to Adult Protective Services or Law Enforcement.

If the alleged abuse occurs in a residential care home or nursing home, reports of the abuse may be made to Law Enforcement or the Long Term Care Ombudsman Program.

In case of emergency and/or immediate attention is required, call 911. Degree of emergency will determine the way abuse should be reported, defined as follows:

What Happens When Elder Abuse Is Reported.

Department of Human Services/Adult Protective Services, Law Enforcement, and the Long Term Care Ombudsman Program, as the primary agencies with a mandate to receive reports of elder abuse, will investigate and take action to correct or remedy the situation, with the consent of the alleged victim. Any action taken is guided by the principles of the least restrictive intervention and an individualís right to self-determination.

California Forms To Obtain A California Order To Prevent Elder Abuse:


Petition for Protective Orders

Response to Petition for Protective Orders

Order to Show Cause and Temporary Restraining Order

Application and Order for Reissuance of Order

Restraining Order After Hearing

Proof of Service (personal)

Proof of Service (mail)

Instructions for Petition for a Protective Order to Prevent Elder or Dependent Adult Abuse

Attached Declaration

Civil Case Cover Sheet

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