While Mandated Reporters are required to report elder abuse within 48 hours and know who to report the abuse to, many non-mandated reporters suspect Elder Abuse, but don’t know where to turn. The general rule of thumb is to always err on the side of caution when suspecting elder abuse. Unfortunately, if unreported, elder abuse often escalates, and all too often the results are tragic. If you suspect an elder you know is being abused, report it immediately. You may be saving the health, assets, or even the life of an elder who may be too afraid to report the abuse themselves.
There are numerous ways to report suspected elder abuse, and it is probably much easier than you think. Furthermore you will be protected from criminal or civil liability, so do not let the fear of retribution prevent you from ever reporting abuse.
If you suspect an elder is being abused in any capacity, while in a long-term care facility such as a nursing home; report the incident to both the Local Long-Term Care Ombudsman and the California Department of Public Health. You should also consider reporting to Adult Protective Services Agency.
If you suspect an elder is being abused outside of a long-term care facility, such as in a private residence, contact your local Adult Protective Services Agency. The APS provides assistance to adults and elderly who are functionally impaired, and who may be victims of abuse, neglect, or exploitation. All APS agencies in California have a 24/7 hotline that may be called to report suspected abuse.
In San Diego County, you may also contact: San Diego County Aging and Independent Services at (800) 510-2020.
Elder abuse in California can be both a criminal and civil offense. Criminal elder abuse describes the willful infliction of physical or emotional suffering on an elder. Civil elder abuse includes any physical or financial abuse, neglect or abandonment resulting in physical or mental harm.
Walton Law, APC is a San Diego boutique law firm dedicated exclusively to representing injured parties in the areas of personal injury, nursing home abuse and neglect, and financial elder abuse. We only represent people – not insurance companies – and take pride in our reputation for obtaining full and fair compensation for our clients while providing personalized client service. If you believe somebody you know has been a victim of elder abuse in San Diego, CA, please call (866) 338-7079 or visit us online for a free and confidential consultation.