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Reporting elder abuse in California

Throughout the country, including in California, people are becoming more educated about the pervasive problem of elder abuse. This type of abuse is nothing new, but government entities, as well as private organizations, have spent the last several years raising awareness of this important societal issue. It is an issue that will become even more important as the average age of the American population increases dramatically over the next few years.

One way that government entities are addressing the problem of elder abuse is by making avenues available for victims and other concerned individuals to report this abuse. Elder abuse can occur in many different types of situations, including abuse or neglect from personal caregivers who are employed in in-home care, or even, sadly, financial abuse on the part of family members. But perhaps the most common and most heavily publicized form of elder abuse occurs in nursing homes.

Make no mistake, the vast majority of people who work in nursing homes are incredible individuals who do their best every day to care for the vulnerable residents in their assisted living facilities. However, the unfortunate reality is that there are a few "bad apples" in nursing homes throughout the country, including in California, who sometimes give the hard-working members of nursing home staffs a bad name.

In California, elder abuse can be reported to the Adult Protective Services agency - there is one in every county. Or, a report can be submitted to the California Department of Health Services, which is particularly interested in issues involving nursing homes. There are also certain units within the California Department of Aging that deal with complaints regarding nursing home neglect or abuse in California.

However, reporting abuse, though important, does nothing to help victims and their families recover the losses that result from elder abuse. To do so, they may need to file a personal injury lawsuit. By speaking with an experienced attorney, these individual may be able to develop a strategy that keeps their interests and well-being in focus.

Source: California Department of Consumer Affairs, "Reporting Elder Abuse," Accessed Jan. 10, 2016

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