Abuse and neglect of the disabled and elderly happens more often than any of us would like to admit. It is serious, and it can happen in any setting.
All of us, as responsible citizens, must help to prevent and stop abuse, neglect, abandonment, and financial exploitation of vulnerable adults by reporting suspected abuse to the appropriate authorities.
A vulnerable or dependent person is:
- Someone who is unable to care for or protect him or her self, or
- A person living in a hospital, nursing home, assisted living facilities, boarding home, or adult family home
- A person with a developmental disability, or
- A person with a legal guardian or
- A person receiving personal care services in his or her own home from an agency or contracted individual provider, including self-directed care.
Are you required to report abuse of an elderly or disabled person?
A person, including health practitioners, or an owner or employee of an institution, who has reasonable cause to believe that the physical or mental health or welfare of a resident has been adversely affected by the abuse or neglect caused by another person shall report the abuse or neglect.
“Failure To Report Abuse, Neglect Or Exploitation Is A Criminal Offense”
Reference: California Welfare & Institutions Code Section 15630(h) and California Penal Code Sections 11160 & 11162.
California Penal Code § 368
It is unlawful to willfully harm or to cause or permit harm to come to an elder age 65 or older or dependent adult.
It is also unlawful to steal or embezzle from, or falsely imprison, an elder or dependent adult