The face of aging in the United States is changing dramatically as more people are living longer. The seniors of our society have paid their dues and deserve to be treated with pride and respect. If the elderly are experiencing any type of abuse, they should contact an elder abuse attorney right away.
Unfortunately there are many times in which people see the elderly of our community as insignificant individuals and/or a source to make money. Elder abuse is a rapidly growing problem and affects many elderly people living in Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Sacramento, the Antelope Valley, and Alameda County.
Abuse can happen to anyone, anywhere; regardless of their sex, ethnicity, and social status. Elder abuse usually occurs in the senior’s own home by the hands of the people who are most trusted; such as a spouse, care taker, financial advisor, adult children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Abuse can also take place at long-term care facilities such as nursing homes. If you or an elderly loved one is a victim of elder abuse, contact The Peck Law Group toll free at 1-866-999-9085. They are experienced Los Angeles elder abuse attorneys who will protect the seniors of our community from personal injury – including bed sores, dehydration, malnutrition and abuse and neglect.
What is Elder Abuse?
Elder abuse can be defined as a deliberate act of negligence by a caregiver or any person who causes harm. Since the elders of our community can be physically and mentally weak, they are more vulnerable to physical attacks, emotional torture, ignorance, and deception.
In some cases the caregivers intentionally harm, neglect, or deceive the elderly for their own satisfaction. In others they feel overwhelmed to provide proper care to the elderly living with them. Abuse can take many forms including:
Physical abuse refers to a non-accidental infliction of force to cause pain, discomfort and injury to the other person. Apart from pushing, shoving, and slapping, physical abuse also includes deliberate exposure to severe weather, inappropriate use of drugs, and unnecessary physical restraint.
Neglect is a failure by the caregiver to provide basic necessities such as food, shelter, proper medicines, personal hygiene products, social companionship and assistance in everyday tasks in which the senior citizen is not able to perform solely.
In Emotional Abuse, the caregivers treat the elderly persons in such way that causes them pain or distress. Verbal emotional abuse includes yelling, threatening, humiliating and blaming the elderly persons. Non-verbal emotional abuse can be a result of ignoring the elderly person, isolating them from friends and families, or terrorizing them.
Sexual abuse includes forced sexual activity such as physical sex, forcing them to undress without their consent, forcing them to watch sexual acts and/or showing them any form of pornographic material.
The caregiver or an outside con artist can use many ways to get hold of the elderly person’s funds or property. The caregiver can misuse the elderly person’s checks, bank accounts, credit cards, and income checks. They may steal funds, forge the elder person’s signature and engage in identity theft. These scam artists can also trick the seniors into believing that they have won a “prize” and must pay a certain amount to claim it, or lead them to believe that they are investing money for specific funds or donating to charities.
Health Care Fraud
Unethical doctors, nurses, and other professional medical care providers can charge (or even double charge) the innocent elders into paying for medical care or services which they are not providing. They can over medicate and even under medicate. A senior citizen may also fall victim to healthcare professionals recommending fraudulent medicines and/or remedies.
Signs and Symptoms of Elder Abuse
There are many signs and symptoms of abuse, neglect, mistreatment, and fraud that can alert family members, friends, loved ones, and professionals about the possibility of the growing problem. If you see any of these signs, contact an elder abuse attorney right away! Some signs to look for:
- Marks, bruises, or scars on any part of the body
- Broken bones including fractures, sprains, and dislocations
- Broken eyeglasses
- Sign of rope marks on their wrist
- Drug overdose or failing to take medication regularly
- Sudden and rapid weight loss
- Symptoms of dehydration or malnutrition
- Soiled bedding and clothes
- Inappropriate clothing for the existing weather
- Being dirty or sunbathed
- Unsafe living environments such as lack of heat, running water, and electricity
- Physical conditions such as bedsores
- The elder’s behavior that mimics mental and/or psychological disorders such as rocking, talking to oneself, sucking their thumb, etc.
- Problems sleeping
- Exhibits signs of depression
- Emotionally upset
- Cringes in the presence of the abuser
- Torn, stained, or bloody clothing
- Unexplained bleeding
- Sexual transmitted diseases
- Bruises around the breast and genitals
- Sudden changes or considerably large withdrawal from the elder’s bank account
- Cash or valuable items missing from their possession
- A change in will, policy, power of attorney, and title
- New names added to the elder’s signature card
- Unpaid bills especially medical related
- Financial activity which can be impossible for the elder to perform such as going to an ATM machine to withdraw funds
- Unnecessary subscription or services
Health Care Frauds
- Signs of over or under medication
- Signs that the elders are not receiving adequate medical services even when bills are completely paid
- Duplicate bills for specific medical care or services
- Problems with the caregiver, such as staff which is not properly trained or qualified to take care of the elder
More Signs to Look For
Sometimes caregivers refuse to allow visitors access to visit the elderly at their residence or nursing home. A caregiver can also linger around the senior citizen when someone comes to visit them. This is a sign that they may be hiding something and don’t want you to be left alone with them.
Why the Elderly?
There are many factors that may lead the caregivers into behaving negatively towards the elderly in their homes. Sometimes, due to the intensity of the elder’s illness, a caregiver can become stressed and/or depressed, resulting in abusive behavior.
Family members such as a spouse, adult children, and other relatives may become frustrated by staying with the senior citizen for the greater part of the day. Many times the duties of taking care of the elderly are reserved to only one adult child, and the lack of support from potential caregivers increases the existing caregiver’s perception of the task as a burdensome job.
The caregivers can also find solace in behaving negatively towards the elderly person if he or she had been an abusive parent or spouse at an earlier time.
Getting Legal Help from a Los Angeles Elder Abuse Attorney
Although it is difficult to take care of an individual who has many needs, the elderly are a vulnerable part of our society and should be cared for properly. If you or a loved one is suspected of being a victim of elder abuse, be sure to contact experienced elder abuse attorneys such as The Peck Law Group toll free at 1-866-999-9085. With offices in Los Angeles, Oakland, and San Bernardino, The Peck Law Group will be able to assist you.
Elder abuse in a domestic setting is becoming a problem everywhere. Taking legal action to protect the rights of the elderly is the first and most important step in helping these citizens of our country. The Peck Law Group is a qualified elder abuse law firm that will assist you and your loved ones in receiving fair compensation for the harm and personal injury that the abuse caused you and your family.
How can a Peck Law Group Elder Abuse Attorney Help?
The lawyers at the Peck Law Group understand that elder abuse can be a complex and sometimes embarrassing problem for the whole family to face. The elderly might not even be aware of the situation that they are facing or be physically able to fight back.
As an essential part of the community, it is our duty to help a person in need. The Peck Law Group has over 40 years of combined experience in handling various abuse and neglect cases. Our team of qualified attorneys has significant trial experience in representing individuals and family members of elder and nursing home abuse.
Contact us today. We have various locations in California including Sacramento, Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Alameda, and the Antelope Valley – we are here to fight for you! Visit us today or give us a call toll free at 1-866-999-9085. You can also fill out the form for a no-cost, no-obligation case review. An elder abuse attorney is standing by to help YOU!
Our Van Nuys / Los Angeles Office: 6454 Van Nuys Boulevard Suite 150, Los Angeles, CA 91401
Our Pleasant Hill / Oakland office: 3478 Buskirk Avenue, Suite 1000, Pleasant Hill, California 94523
Our Ontario Office: 3281 Guasti Road, Ontario,CA 91761
About the Author
Attorney Steven Peck has been practicing law since 1981. A former successful business owner, Mr. Peck initially focused his legal career on business law. Within the first three years, after some colleagues and friend’s parents endured nursing home neglect and elder abuse, he continued his education to begin practicing elder law and nursing home abuse law.