Financial Elder Abuse

Financial abuse of an elder or dependant adult occurs when a person or entity does any of the following:

   
Takes, secretes, appropriates, obtains, or retains real or personal property of an elder or dependant adult for a wrongful use or with intent to defraud, or both;
   
Assists in taking, secreting, appropriating, obtaining, or retaining real or personal property of an elder or dependant adult for a wrongful use or with intent to defraud, or both: or
   
Takes, secretes, appropriates, obtains, or retains, or assists in taking, secreting, appropriating, obtaining, or retaining, real or personal property of an elder or dependant adult by undue influence.
   

 

A person or entity is deemed to have taken, secreted, appropriated, obtained, or retained property for a wrongful use if, among other things, the person or entity takes, secretes, appropriates, obtains, or retains the property and the person or entity knew or should have known that the conduct is likely to be harmful to the elder or dependant adult.

 

A person or entity takes, secretes, appropriates, obtains, or retains real or personal property when an elder or dependant adult is deprived of any property right, including by means of an agreement, donative transfer, or testamentary bequest, regardless of whether the property is held directly or by a representative of an elder or dependant adult.

 

The following definitions apply to elder abuse:

 

Abandonment means the desertion or willful forsaking of an elder or a dependant adult by anyone having care or custody of that person under circumstances in which a responsible person would continue to provide care and custody.

 

Abduction means the removal from California of the restraint from returning to California, of any elder or dependant adult who does not have the capacity to consent to the removal from California.

 

Abuse of an Elder or a dependant adult means either of the following:

   
Physical abuse, neglect, financial abuse, abandonment, isolation, abduction, or other treatment with resulting physical harm or pain or mental suffering; or
   
The deprivation by a care custodian of goods or services that are necessary to avoid physical harm or mental suffering.

 

Adult protective services means those preventive and remedial activities performed on behalf of elders and dependant adults who are unable to protect their own interests.

 

Adult protective services agency means a county welfare department.

 

Bureau means the Bureau of Medi-Cal Fraud within the county office of the Attorney General.

 

Imminent danger means a substantial probability that an elder or dependant adult is in imminent or immediate risk of death or serious physical harm, through either his or her own action or inaction, or as a result of action or inaction of another person.

 

Investigation means that activity undertaken to determine the validity of a report of elder or dependant adult abuse.

 

Isolation means any of the following:

   
Acts intentionally committed for the purpose of preventing, and that serve to prevent, an elder or dependent adult from receiving his or her mail or telephone calls;
   
Telling a caller or prospective visitor that an elder or dependant adult is not present, or does not wish to talk with the caller, or does not wish to meet with the visitor where the statement is false, is contrary to the express wishes of the elder or the dependant adult, whether he or she is competent or not, and is made for the purpose of preventing the elder or dependant adult from having contact with family, friends, or concerned persons;
False imprisonment, as defined in the California Penal Code; or
   
Physical restraint of an elder or a dependant adult, for the purpose of preventing the elder or dependant adult from meeting with visitors.

 

Local law enforcement agency means a city police or county sheriff’s department, or a county probation department.

 

Mental suffering means fear, agitation, confusion, severe depression, or other forms of serious emotional distress that is brought about by forms of intimidating behavior, threats, harassment, or by deceptive acts performed or false or misleading statements made with malicious intent to agitate, confuse, frighten, or cause severe depression or serious emotional distress of the elder or dependant adult.

 

Neglect means either of the following:

   
The negligent failure of any person having the care or custody of an elder or a dependant adult to exercise that degree of care that a reasonable person in a like position would exercise; or
   
The negligent failure of an elder or dependant adult to exercise that degree of self care that a reasonable person in a like position would exercise, or

 

Neglect includes, but is not limited to, the following:

   
Failure to assist in personal hygiene, or in the provision of food, clothing, or shelter;
   
Failure to provide medical care for physical and mental health needs. No person shall deemed neglected or abused for the sole reason that he or she voluntarily relies on treatment by spiritual means through prayer alone in lieu of medical treatment;
Failure to protect from health and safety hazards; or
   
Failure to prevent malnutrition or dehydration.

 

Patients rights advocate means a person who has no direct or indirect clinical or administrative responsibility for the patient, and who is responsible for ensuring that laws, regulations, and policies on the rights of the patient are observed.

 

Physical abuse means any of the following:

   
Assault;
   
Battery:
   
Unreasonable physical constraint, or prolonged or continual deprivation of food or water; or
   
Sexual assault

 

Reasonable suspicion means an objectively reasonable suspicion that a person would entertain, based upon facts that could cause reasonable person in a like position, drawing when appropriate upon his or her training and experience, to suspect abuse.

 

Representative means a person or entity that is either of the following:

   
A conservator, trustee, or other representative of the estate of an elder or dependant adult; or
   
An attorney-in-fact of an elder or dependant adult who acts within the authority of the power of attorney.

 



 

 

 

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