elderly people playing a game with a red soccer ball

Basic Legal Rights for California Elders

One of the best defenses is knowing your rights. Not only your basic rights, but the bills and legislation from which those rights come. This information is helpful when it comes to holding nursing and care facilities responsible. While we don’t recommend issuing threats (file a complaint or contact a lawyer instead), we do recommend being able to state clearly which law grants you the right to what services/treatment. You may not be able to off the top of your head, so here are some basic legal rights for all California elders to know. Print out this blog to have on file in case you need it!

elderly people playing a game with a red soccer ball
PC: Jojo Yuen via Unsplash

Civil Code §3345b

Civil Code §3345b is the statute that established senior citizens as a “protected party.” As a protected party, senior citizens who have been taken advantage of because of their age or vulnerability can receive “significantly elevated damages” as compensation. Learn more about Civil Code §3345b.

California Penal Code 368 PC

California Penal Code 368 defines the physical and emotional abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation of senior citizens as a misdemeanor or felony with punishments of up to four years in prison. Essentially, this is the vital piece of legislation that says that, if you have been a victim of abuse or neglect, you have the right to seek legal action and compensation for damages. 

Right to Privacy and Confidentiality

Senior citizens often live in group care facilities. These facilities do not have the right to discuss your care or personal health information with anyone not expressly given approval. Additionally, residents have the right to privacy in their general, day-to-day living conditions. Keeping this information private and confidential preserves dignity, confidence, and comfort. And you and your loved ones have a right to all of those. 

Right to Visits

Residents of care facilities have a right to visits from desired family, friends, doctors, and others they choose to have visit. This was one of the bigger issues dealt with during COVID-19, which complicated visiting rules. The Essential Caregivers Act (H.R. 3733) sought to remedy this situation and provide visitors for residents in a safe way.

If you or a loved one have been the victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, call Gharibian Law (877-460-1187) today for a FREE consultation and the best legal representation.