California passed a law in 1991 to give additional protections to the elderly known as the Elder Abuse and Dependent Adult Civil Protection Act (EADACPA). It was put into place with the knowledge and understanding that the elderly that are under the care of others are especially dependent on the care they receive and often are in situations in which they lack the ability to protect themselves. This leads to the question, then, of what type of caretaker relationship is necessary to hold someone liable under the law?
California’s Elder Abuse Law
California has enacted laws that specifically criminalize elder abuse and that also allow for civil remedies. The civil provisions of the EADACPA are found in Chapter 11 of the Welfare and Institutions Code. It protects the elderly from physical abuse, neglect, or fiduciary abuse. The law defines an elder as any California resident 65 years of age or older. Physical abuse is defined to include: