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California Elder Abuse Overview – Statistics and Warning Signs

by John Gomez | Last Updated: August 22, 2016
California Elder Abuse

California elder abuse is becoming an increasingly more prevalent problem.  California is home to approximately 1,300 licensed, long-term nursing care facilities.  Nearly 350,000 people receive care in these facilities every year.  Estimates indicate that the average cost of a skilled nursing facility is more than $90,000 per year per resident.  In addition, facilities statewide are operating at nearly 90 percent capacity.  Despite this growing numbers crunch, the demand for beds is only going to become more intense in the coming years.

The reason for this crunch is because many projections initially indicated that the period between 1990 and 2020 would see the population of people aged 60 and older more than double in California.  At this point, those projections appear to be largely accurate.  As such, we’d like to bring more awareness to the intensifying issue of California elder abuse, so below you’ll find some basic facts and figures as well as some warning signs to watch for in case you need to take action to protect a loved one.

California Nursing Home AA Citations – Statistics by County

Elder abuse occurs in far more contexts than in a nursing home.  However, nursing homes are a center for people of advanced age and therefore can provide some tangible measuring stick as to the problem of California elder abuse.  Given the availability of these data, the information you’ll find below shows how many nursing home facilities received AA citations in recent years by county:

  1. Los Angeles County – 24 facilities
  2. San Diego County – 7 facilities
  3. Orange County – 9 facilities
  4. Riverside County – 2 facilities
  5. San Bernardino County – 4 facilities
  6. Santa Clara County – 4 facilities
  7. Alameda County – 3 facilities
  8. Sacramento County – 5 facilities
  9. Contra Costa County – 1 facility
  10. Fresno County – 1 facility

Based on the statistics above, the 10 most populous counties in California saw 60 of their nursing home facilities issued AA citations in recent years.  An AA citation is the most serious type in California.  The relevant statute defines this as a violation that was, “determined to have been a direct proximate cause of death of a patient or resident of a long term care facility.” (Health and Safety Code Section 1424(c).  Given the seriousness of these citations, nursing homes found to have committed an AA violation face fines between $25,000 and $100,000.

 Warning Signs of California Elder Abuse

If a loved one of yours is receiving any type of care, you need to be vigilant with regards to any signs of elder abuse.  In these situations, you should acknowledge your instincts and obtain definitive answers as opposed to simply hoping that everything is alright.  Every day that elder abuse occurs will likely additional untold harm on a person.  Some common warnings signs of elder abuse include:

  • Sudden and unusual physical injuries such as cuts, bruises or fractures
  • The diagnosis of sexually transmitted diseases
  • Confusing changes in behavior and demeanor
  • Unexplained withdrawal from regular family visits or activities
  • A regular lack of funds for basic needs
  • Unforeseen financial difficulties and stress in general

In addition to the examples above, there are many other warning signs of California elder abuse or neglect.  Regardless, the bottom line is that it is likely that you will recognize a problem when one arises and should therefore act accordingly.

Where to Report California Elder Abuse in Nursing Homes

A list of authorities you can contact if you suspect that a loved one is being abused in a California nursing home appears below:

Of course, if you feel that you need additional help, you can always contact an attorney to discuss your situation.  Specifically, you should contact a California elder abuse lawyer at Gomez Trial Attorneys to schedule a free initial consultation.  Overall, you should act immediately to move the situation towards a resolution if you fear that a loved one who is receiving care is being abused.


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