California Welfare & Institutions Code § 15610.57

Under California law, "Neglect" means either of the following:

1. The negligent failure of any person having the care or custody of an elder or a dependent adult to exercise that degree of care that a reasonable person in a like position would exercise.

2. The negligent failure of an elder or dependent adult to exercise that degree of self care that a reasonable person in a like position would exercise.

3. Neglect includes, but is not limited to, all of the following:

A. Failure to assist in personal hygiene, or in the provision of food, clothing, or shelter.

B. Failure to provide medical care for physical and mental health needs. No person shall be deemed neglected or abused for the sole reason that he or she voluntarily relies on treatment by spiritual means through prayer alone in lieu of medical treatment.

C. Failure to protect from health and safety hazards.

D. Failure to prevent malnutrition or dehydration.

4. Failure of an elder or dependent adult to satisfy the needs specified in paragraphs (1) to (4), inclusive, for himself or herself as a result of poor cognitive functioning, mental limitation, substance abuse, or chronic poor health.