Elder abuse is a serious problem that can cause long term harm to all parties involved. Elder abuse can present itself in multiple forms including financial abuse, physical abuse or neglect. Out of fear, older individuals often do not protest and call attention to their injuries. One should always be on the look out for warning sings of nursing home neglect and senior citizen abuse including marks and bruises on the body, unclean and unsanitary bedding, bed sores, heavy and unnecessary medication to sedate patients.
Abuse Neglect and Mistreatment Statistics: According to a recent study nearly 1/3rd of all nursing homes in California were cited for federal and state violations of laws and statutes pertaining to proper nursing home care of the elderly. In another study over 50% of nursing home staff admitted to some form of mistreatment of the elderly in the past year; with the most prevalent being nursing home staff elderly neglect.
If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of someone or some place’s negligence, please contact our elder abuse attorney for a free case evaluation of your claim.
Types of Elderly Abuse Against Senior Citizens
Physical, Emotional or Sexual Elder Abuse
Elder individuals are at elevated risk of physical, emotional or sexual abuse because they are easy targets. Elder patients are often ignored, and their perpetrators are often successful at keeping their victims quiet. Physical elder abuse is any type of brunt force resulting in injury. Physical abuse can be the result of overworked, stressed or poorly trained staff, or from retaliation. Either way, it is never justified. It can come in the form of kicking, punching, slapping, chocking or any other type of force.
Unlike physical abuse, emotional abuse does not entail a physical contact, but is damaging nonetheless. Emotional abuse can be verbal, such as threats, humiliation, yelling or degradation; it can also be nonverbal, such as isolation, confinement, or placing the elderly under a constant state of fear. It is important to look for signs of emotional abuse, as victims might become increasingly angry or depressed, or demonstrate increased levels of anxiety.
Sexual elder abuse is not unlike any type of sexual assault. It is the non-consensual contact by one person on the elderly person. However, sexual elder abuse does not necessarily require touching. Sexual elder abuse includes exposing the elderly to pornographic materials, forcing them them to watch sexual acts, or making them undress against their will.
Financial abuse of elders includes the improper use of funds or the theft or misappropriation of monies entrusted to the caretaker, spouse or child for the benefit of the elderly party. In such instances the financial assets of the victim including money received from government agencies, retirement accounts and other funds in their possession. When such funds are entrusted to another it is improper to misappropriate or improperly use such monies for their un-intended purpose.
In such instances our elder abuse attorney will recover for the theft of such funds, attorney fees and possible punitive damages.
Home Care and Nursing Home Neglect:
Neglect is another form of elder abuse that can take many forms. Elder neglect can arise when the designated caretaker fails to render the proper level of care to his patient. Generally, such instances occur when the needs and wants of the patient are neglected. Such issues can cause emotional trauma, feelings of abandonment and possible physical harm for failure to administer proper medical care or treatment. When the caretaker either fails to remedy such concerns in a timely manner or appoints a caretaker who is not qualified to assist in such matters, then they can be held liable for injuries suffered.
Nurse and Home Care Abuse:
Abuse in the form of physical or sexual harm occurs in old age or convalescent homes and often goes un-noticed. Aside from criminal liabilities, such establishments or homes can face serious civil liabilities. When employees of such establishment fail to render proper aid or act in a manner which further such abuse both the employer and employee can be held liable for the harm.
Identifying Elder Abuse
Sadly, elder abuse and nursing home abuse has far less reporting rates than other types of abuse. This is due to several factors, such as shame or embarrassment by the victim, or the perpetrators ability to keep the elderly quiet. Other times, the elderly are simply muted or ignored, leaving them helpless in the face of abuse. Therefore, it is important to look for several physical and behavioral signs that might portend to one of the types of elder abuse mentioned above.
Signs of elder abuse include:
- Sexual abuse;
- Financial abuse;
- Shaking or beating victim;
- Failure to provide medical attention or care in a timely fashion;
- Improper, un-needed or prolonged restraint;
- Improperly dispensing medication; or
- Medical neglect in the form of improper medical care
Behavioral signs of elder abuse:
- Elder patient is constantly angry or moody, especially where the behavior falls outside of normal behavior
- Individual is unusually depressed
- Nobody was informed about an existing injury
How Long Do I Have to File My Claim for Elderly Abuse?
Time requirements for filing your claim are subject to a number of different factors and are governed by applicable statute of limitations. However, victims can have up-to three or four years to file a claim for injuries. When there is a conscious disregard for the rights of the victim then a lawsuit can be a proper method of resolution. While each claim can be different these time limitations are subject to the type of injury suffered. It is important to have a qualified elder abuse attorney evaluate your claim and properly assess your damages.
Victims at Risk: Contact an Elder Abuse Attorney
Elderly victims are often some of the most vulnerable in our society. They lack the means necessary to properly seek justice for the harm suffered. Many are left without proper legal representation which can cause delays in filing their case. Our firm cares for the rights of the elderly and will aggressively fight for their representation. Our elder abuse attorney will make sure that your rights are protected and will take measures to alert the proper authorities and take all needed measures to ensure their future safety. For those who receive SSI or SDI benefits we will make sure that your settlement does not discontinue your benefits.
Our elder abuse attorney at Downtown LA Law can be reached at 855-385-2529 for an absolutely free case evaluation.