When you have an elderly parent in a Los Angeles County nursing home or another loved one receives daily care in a skilled nursing facility in Southern California, it is essential to understand the rights that an older adult has under California law, and how a dangerous facility can be held accountable for resident injuries. Given that so many nursing home residents are contracting COVID-19 as a result of poor infection-control measures and policies in nursing homes across the country, and many seniors are dying from COVID-19 infections in California skilled nursing facilities, it is important for all Los Angeles County residents to know more about protections under state law.
The primary law that protects nursing home residents and provides a remedy for safety violations is the Elder Abuse and Dependent Adult Civil Protection Act (EADACPA). We want to provide you with some frequently asked questions and answers about this law.
What is the EADACPA Designed to Do?
The EADACPA is designed to prevent elder abuse, but also holds perpetrators of abuse accountable for harm. Accordingly, it provides civil and criminal penalties for elder abuse in California.
Who is Protected by the Law?
Older adults aged 65 and up, as well as dependent adults, are protected by the law. According to the law, a dependent adult is “a person, regardless of whether the person lives independently, between the ages of 18 and 64 years old . . . who has physical or mental limitations that restrict his or her ability to carry out normal activities or to protect his or her rights, including, but not limited to, persons who have physical or developmental disabilities, or whose physical or mental abilities have diminished because of age.”
How Does the EADACPA Define Abuse?
Under the law, abuse is defined broadly to include physical abuse, neglect, isolation, abduction, and other actions that result in pain or mental suffering. The law’s definition of physical abuse includes sexual abuse and other forms of physical violence against older and dependent adults. In addition, the law’s definition of neglect is broad and can include “the negligent failure of any person having the care or custody of an elder or dependent adult to exercise that degree of care that a reasonable person in a like position would exercise.”
What Should I Do if I Suspect Elder Abuse?
If you suspect abuse, you should file a complaint with the California Department of Public Health (DPH), or you should report the abuse to the California Ombudsman Services.
If you have additional questions about the Elder Abuse and Dependent Adult Civil Protection Act, you should get in touch with an elder abuse lawyer who can help.
Contact a Los Angeles County Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
Do you have concerns about an elderly family member’s safety in a nursing home, or do you need assistance filing a nursing home abuse lawsuit? An experienced Los Angeles nursing home abuse attorney can evaluate your case today and can speak with you about your options for filing a claim. Contact the Walton Law Firm today to learn more about how we help older adults and their families in Southern California.
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