A recent study by the financial resource center wallethub.com reported that California is tied with Rhode Island and South Carolina for having the highest prevalence of elder abuse in the nation. The study also found that California had fewer public resources available than most other states to combat elder abuse, placing it at number 40 on a list of 50 states and the District of Columbia.
These two factors combined to place California dead last at 51 (counting D.C.) on an overall ranking of “states with the best elder abuse protections,” but two important takeaways can be gleaned for families of elderly residents of skilled living facilities and nursing homes.
First, California ranked quite high at 17th in the third category of legal protections for seniors. Second, and following from the first point, all these factors combine to present working with an experienced elder abuse attorney to arguably be the most effective method for combating elder abuse in California, while winning financial recovery and protections for elders.
What This Study Means for California Elders and Their Families
Sadly, elder abuse in all too common occurrence in California nursing home and assisted living facilities. California’s ranking in the study as having the highest prevalence of elder abuse is based on the number of complaints made to California state officials extrapolated over the total population of California seniors. What makes matters even more concerning is that, for every official complaint made to state officials, there are exponentially many more cases of elder abuse that are not reported due to factors such as fear, intimidation, and elders having no one to speak up on their behalf.
With regard to the study’s low ranking of California in terms of elder care resources, this finding was based on the following factors:
- Public resources spent on elder abuse prevention
- Public resources for legal assistance in elder abuse cases
- Public resources spent on long-term care ombudsman oversight
This means California residents should not expect that public agencies should necessarily prevent violations of elder abuse laws and enforce penalties against those who violate those laws.
On the other hand, California has some of the strongest legislative protections in the nation for those who seek financial recovery and injunctive relief against elder abusers and their employers.
Putting all of this together, family members of California elderly nursing home and assisted living facility residents often have the burden of noticing the signs of elder abuse, but, when they do, by working together with private elder abuse attorneys, there are strong and forceful laws on their side that are there to assist them in winning financial recovery and relief for elder abuse victims.
Contact the Southern California Elder Abuse Attorneys at Johnson Moore Today
At Johnson Moore, we know full well that elder abuse victims and their families often face stonewalling, denial, and even intimidation when they try to take action against elder abuse. Our attorneys are compassionate and determined defenders of the elderly, and we will take the time to fully understand your concerns and assess what steps we can take on your behalf. Even if you are unsure of whether you have a valid claim, we look forward to hearing from you to help you explore your options for obtaining the justice you deserve. Contact Johnson Moore today to schedule a free consultation.