Elder abuse is a serious problem, affecting millions of people each year in the United States. The number of victims of elder abuse is expected to grow, as the aging Baby Boomer population swells the ranks of the elderly. States are trying to fight back, but some are not as effective as others in protecting their elderly residents.
The website WalletHub conducted a thorough investigation of how well each state provided protection against elder abuse. The results of the study, published in December 2017, ranked the states according to how well they protected their residents. Unfortunately for Californians, the Golden State came in dead last nationwide in the overall rankings. California also tied for last place, along with Rhode Island and South Carolina, for having the most complaints for elder abuse, gross neglect and exploitation.
Prevalence, Resources and Protection
In compiling the overall scores, researchers considered three aspects of elder abuse and state protection:
- Prevalence – The number of complaints of elder abuse, gross neglect and exploitation as a proportion of the state’s
residents over the age of 65,
- Resources – How much was spent, per over-65 resident, on elder abuse prevention, legal assistance and ombudsman programs, and
- Protection – The presence or absence of laws relating to financial elder abuse, elder abuse forensic centers and working groups, elder care organizations and services, the proportion of certified volunteer ombudsman per over-65 resident, the frequency of assisted living facility inspections, and the quality of nursing homes.
California did poorly on two of these measures, tying for last place on Prevalence and coming in 40th out of 51 states on Resources. The only bright spot in this study for California’s elderly residents is that the state came in above average on the Protection measure, with a rank of 17 out of 51.
California Needs to Do More to Protect Its Elderly Residents
California is known as a progressive state, but when it comes to protecting its residents from elder abuse, it is sadly lagging behind. State policy makers need to do more to provide resources to fight back harder against those who prey on the vulnerable elderly.
If you have a loved one who you think might have been abused, please reach out to the experienced elder abuse lawyers at Garcia & Artigliere. Call us at (800) 281-8515 to find out more about how we can help.