Articles Tagged with california elder abuse

dayne-topkin-101956-copy-300x200What is elder or dependent adult abuse according to California law? For residents of Vista and other parts of Southern California, it is important to learn more about the protections available to seniors who may be subject to nursing home abuse. A recent article in CalCoast News reports that the California Department of Justice arrested the owner and a former employee of an assisted living facility in the state for elderly dependent adult abuse. This case involves a critical case of nursing home neglect that resulted in the death of a resident. It serves as a reminder that laws are in place not only to punish perpetrators of elder abuse and neglect, but that there are also legal protections in place to prevent further abuse.

Details of the Recent Elder Neglect Case

As the article explains, the incident that led to the elder and dependent adult abuse charges occurred several years ago. In December of 2014, a senior, Mauricio Edgar Cardenas, at The Manse on Marsh, an elderly facility in San Luis Obispo, attempted to cross a street by himself. He was struck and killed by an oncoming vehicle, the driver of which was cleared of wrongdoing. When the accident happened, it was dark outside, and authorities determined that the motor vehicle driver could not have seen the victim in time to stop or to avoid hitting him.

file000790132663If an elderly California resident is declared incompetent and placed under a conservatorship (also known in many places as a guardianship), can that senior actually be at greater risk of elder abuse? According to a recent article in Forbes Magazine, conservatorships and guardianships are “ideally a protection for older adults.” However, as the article explains, a conservatorship “is a drastic measure often prompted by warring relatives, nursing homes that want to get paid, or a ‘friend’ who gains the trust of an older adult in order to take advantage of him or her.” While these typically are worst-case-scenario examples, it is important to think carefully about the potential links between conservatorships and nursing home abuse in Southern California.

What is a Conservatorship?

The California Courts make clear that a conservatorship involves an adult (the “conservatee”) who either “cannot care for himself or herself or manage his or her own finances” and a responsible person or entity (the “conservator”) to care for that adult. The Court’s website explains that general conservatorships, like the scenario described above, often involve an elderly person.

ttronslien-9913It can be difficult for California residents who do not have specific ties to elder advocacy groups to learn more about confronting nursing home abuse and neglect in our communities. Yet one city in California has taken steps to make materials about elder abuse awareness and prevention more accessible to members of the community who do not necessarily have specific knowledge about law enforcement or legal advocacy. According to a recent article in the Pleasant Hill Patch, the Contra Costa County Public Law Library is open to the public, providing “resources to help recognize and report elder abuse.”

Library with a “Special Interest in Serving Seniors”

The Contra Costa County Public Law Library has branches in a number of cities in northern California, including Martinez, Richmond, and Pittsburg. Its emphasis on providing “information and resources for recognizing and reporting elder abuse” is an aim that could easily be taken up in Southern California as well, encouraging more San Diego residents to get the information they need to help put a stop to nursing home abuse. As the article articulates, the Contra Costa County library has a “special interest in serving seniors,” and as a result it targets senior citizens in California in its outreach activities.