Elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation are growing concerns across the U.S., and unfortunately, not all states are working to reduce the occurrence of these issues. In December 2016, WalletHub released a study of each state’s and the District of Columbia’s elder abuse protections and ranked state’s and D.C.’s efforts. Overall, California ranked 49 out of 51, which means only two other states have made a poorer effort to protect its elderly citizens.
Since California’s laws and infrastructure do not provide an abundance of elder abuse protection, it is up to you to keep a close eye on your loved ones living in nursing homes or other long-term care facilities. If you believe your family member or friend is being abused by someone or neglected, contact an experienced San Francisco elder abuse attorney at Brod Law Firm as soon as possible.
How the States and D.C. Were Ranked
WalletHub used 10 metrics within the categories of prevalence, resources, and protection, to measure each state’s overall level of elder abuse protection.
Prevalence Factors: 40 points
- The prevalence of elder abuse, gross neglect, and exploitation complaints made to the office of the state long-term care ombudsman
Resources Factors: 30 points
- Expenditures on elder abuse prevention per resident 65 years and older
- Expenditures on legal assistance development per resident 65 years and older
- Total long-term care ombudsman program funding per resident 65 years and older
Protection Factors: 30 points
- Number of certified volunteer ombudsmen per resident 65 years and older
- Quality of nursing homes, specifically certified nursing homes rated 4 or 5 stars
- Frequency of assisted living facility inspections
- The presence or absence of financial elder abuse laws
- Eldercare organizations and services per resident 65 years and older
- The presence or absence of elder abuse forensic centers
California’s Lack of Elder Abuse Protections
California’s total weighted score from the WalletHub study was 18.93 out of 100 possible points. In comparison, D.C. was the highest ranked for elder abuse protections with a score of 71.46. Nevada was the highest ranked state with a score of 70.92.
For each of the main categories, California ranked:
- Prevalence: 50th
- Resources: 42nd
- Protection: 7th
California and South Carolina actually tied for the highest number of elder abuse, gross neglect and exploitation complaints. However, the fact that California scored so high in the specific category of elder abuse protections is a bright light in this study. While the state has a long way to go in funding elder abuse and neglect protection to increase the number of resources of elderly residents and their families, it is clearly making an attempt to provide quality nursing home facilities and offer some basic protections.
Do You Fear Your Loved One is a Victim of Elder Abuse or Neglect?
If you believe your family member or friend is being abused or neglected by a physician, nurse, caretaker or staff member at a nursing facility, first ensure your loved one receives necessary medical attention and then contact the experienced San Francisco elder abuse attorneys of Brod Law Firm. Despite California’s low ranking, there are ways your loved one can recover compensation for abuse that caused his or her injuries. If you lost your loved one and you believe abuse or neglect contributed to his or her death, you may be able to file a legal claim against the nursing home.
For more information, contact Brod Law Firm at (800) 427-7020 to schedule a free consultation.
(image courtesy of Frantzou Fleruine)