The Changing Rout of the Elder Justice Roadmap
Last week, California became the 6th state in the U.S. to implement a law allowing terminally ill patients to take their own lives. The process of constructing, implementing, and regulating the law and its use has been an arduous and ongoing process, and even as the law faces legal challenges, physicians and care facilities are having to wrestle with the challenges that it will present. Although the law is more limited in scope than its detractors tend to admit, and is likely to affect only a very small percentage of the population, it adds a very complicated new element to the mix when dealing with the elderly.
Elder abuse in California and the United States at large is an enormous problem, spanning across the fields of civil and criminal law, health, and finance. National Center for Elder Abuse estimates that the money stolen from seniors each year can range upwards of $2.6 Billion, and the scope of physical and sexual abuse is almost impossible to accurately estimate. Statistically, much of this abuse is being done by family members, and much of it is being done under the cover of legal documents such as powers of attorney, trusteeships, and healthcare directives.
It’s not easy for seniors to self-report abuse, either of the physical or financial variety. Even before factoring in issues such as memory and cognition impairment, seniors often find it humiliating to be in a position to be abused, and would rather hide the occurrence than reveal it. Often, seniors depend on their abuser for caretaking or financial needs, and can’t risk having their abuser find out they reported them. Our Marin elder abuse attorneys have seen many cases in which abused elders were forced to depend on those who were inflicting physical, emotional, or financial harm on them.
The coalition of legal professionals, physicians, nurses, financial advisors and elder advocates that are in the position of combating the surge of elder abuse often have to approach these problems from a number of angles. Projects such as the Elder Justice Roadmap, designed by professionals from many different disciples, is intended to allow elder advocates to draw on experience they may not have themselves, and to help craft a template for dealing with the complicated situations that arise in elder abuse situations.
If you or a loved one has questions regarding end of life care, including hospice, nursing, and caretaking facilities, contact the Evans Law Firm at (415) 411-8669, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our Marin elder abuse attorneys have experience dealing with physical and financial elder abuse, long term care and life insurance, and annuity fraud.