Elder Law

LGBT Protections in Long-Term Care Facilities

Last week, Governor Jerry Brown signed SB 219 (view here) into law – a bill aimed at protecting LGBT seniors from discrimination in long-term care facilities. The bill adds specific protections for LGBT residents of skilled nursing facilities, residential care facilities for the elderly, and intermediate care facilities and enacts a Bill of Rights for LGBT Long-Term Care Facility Residents.

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Elder Abuse in Humboldt County

In California, Elder Abuse is both a crime and a civil offense.  Unfortunately, it goes unreported for a variety of reasons--embarrassment of the victim, inability of others to identify the issue, or a victim's desire not to pursue the matter against a family member or loved one.
 
Generally, elder abuse is the physical or financial abuse or neglect or other treatment that results in pain and suffering of a person over the age of 65.
 

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Janssen Malloy LLP Wins Appeal Preserving Right to Trial Over Arbitration

Janssen Malloy LLP obtained a unanimous First District Court of Appeal decision recently in a wrongful death/elder abuse action regarding Timber Ridge Assisted Living LLC (Timber Ridge).  Partner Michael Crowley argued the matter before the three justice panel.  The Court of Appeal ruled 3-0 that plaintiff Valerie Monschke, as personal representative of her mother’s estate, could proceed to a jury trial rather than be forced into a binding arbitration of the case concerning her mother’s death.  Ms.

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Elder Abuse Claims in Transactions

As our population ages, it is only natural there are more transactions where one of the parties is a senior citizen.  Parties to a transaction need to remember that the Elder Abuse Dependent Adult Civil Protection Act (EADACPA) applies to transactions with seniors.
If it is believed that an elder has been taken advantage of in a transaction, it may lead to an elder abuse complaint being brought on behalf of the senior.  

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Nursing Home Rights at Admission

If you or a loved one is entering a skilled nursing facility (“SNF”) in California for any length of time, you may be asked to sign an arbitration agreement with the SNF. Typically, such agreements are presented at the time of admission or just prior. Arbitration agreements typically are those that waive a SNF resident’s rights under the law—like the right to a jury trial on personal injury claims. But, California law requires that any such arbitration agreement presented to a SNF resident clearly state that signing it is NOT a precondition for admission to the SNF.

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Financial Elder Abuse Law - Clarification of Scope

As indicated in my previous blogs on the subject, financial elder abuse is rampant in this country. A recent post by the National Adult Protective Services Association indicates that one in twenty older adults have suffered some sort of perceived financial mistreatment in the recent past and that only one in forty-four cases is ever reported.

In Bounds v. Superior Court (2014) 229 Cal. App. 4th 468 the Court provided guidance on when there has been “financial abuse” under the Act.

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The Growing Epidemic of Senior Financial Abuse

According to the Investor Protection Trust, one out of every five older Americans has already been duped by a financial scam. Persons over the age of 50 now control over 70% of the nation’s wealth. As Willie Sutton once said about why he held up banks, the reason Seniors are now targeted is because “that’s where the money is.”  The General Accounting Office estimated that, for 2010 alone, financial elder abuse amounted to over $2.9 Billion. This figure is likely low because seniors often don’t report financial abuse because they are embarrassed that they have been scammed.

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Changes Are Coming to CA’s Elder Law Regime

As the population of California continues to age, the issue of the level of care provided our seniors in Residential Care Facilities for the Elderly (RCFE) has caught the attention of the California Legislature. Unlike nursing homes, which are more heavily regulated, RCFEs lack sufficient government oversight. Due to this lack of oversight, some of the more egregious cases of elder abuse and mistreatment have occurred at RCFEs.

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