As family members age, you might be inclined to care for them and help them out as much as you can. You need to be careful, however, that you don’t get in over your head. California has very strict laws regarding elder law, so there’s a chance that you might be accused of elder abuse even if you’re doing your best to care for a senior.

For some, it’s difficult to understand the depth of the elder abuse laws here. You don’t have to intentionally hurt a senior to be accused of a crime. The California Penal Code notes that permitting an elderly person to suffer injuries or putting them in danger is specifically considered a crime. Therefore, it’s possible to be accused of elder abuse if you were in charge of overseeing their care and didn’t get them appropriate medical treatment or other social services when they needed them. This can be difficult if a senior’s condition is deteriorating and you don’t know how to handle it.

These abuse allegation cases usually begin with someone expressing their concern to Adult Protective Services. This agency will send a social worker out to investigate the matter. If there is anything criminal going on, they will contact the proper authorities to alert them to the matter. 

Unfortunately, accusations of elder abuse can cause considerable problems in a family if the accused individual is related to the senior citizen. Not only will you have to explore your defense options to battle the criminal charges, but you’ll also have to determine how to handle the changes that might come in the family.