Elder abuse including nursing home abuse and residential elderly care neglect is becoming more and more common. With the age increase amongst baby-boomers, the number of persons checking in to elder-care homes is on the rise. As a result the number of such homes is also increasing, which has also brought to light the various abuses suffered by occupants at such institutions. Elderly members in such communities are unable to vocalize their injuries. They fall victim to predators and others are such facilities, who negligently operate or run these facilities. If you feel that your loved one is a victim of such abuse, speak out. Consult with local law enforcement and contact an attorney. It is important to understand your rights. If you find the information in this article helpful, contact our offices today for a free case evaluation.
What is Elder Neglect?
Elder neglect is defined in two ways; (1) failing to exercise a reasonable degree of care, when in custody of the party; (2) failure to exercise proper self care. This can include any of the following:
Not providing proper personal hygiene;
Failure to provide clothing,
Failure to provide food;
Failure to provide shelter;
Failure to provide medical care;
Failure to protect from health and safety hazardous or hazardous conditions;
Failure to avoid or prevent instances of dehydration or malnutrition.
Under the Elder Abuse Act: neglect is deemed a form of abuse. When someone is placed in the care or custody of another, they are required to provide sufficient and proper care. If they fail to administer proper care, or the level of care provided, falls below the standard of that of a reasonable person, then they will be found to be in neglect.
When the issue is medical care, which was to be provided to the elderly party, courts will look at whether medical care was actually provided. In other words did the custodian provide medical care? In many cases they fail to provide medical assistance. When this occurs the facility where they are or custodian will be held liable for injuries sustained. Neglect is also defined as failing to meet the basic needs and comforts of the dependent party.
Elderly Abuse Reporting Requirement – The legal duty to report elderly abuse and or neglect is placed on, “Any person who has assumed full or intermittent responsibility for care or custody of an elder or dependent adult…including administrators, supervisors, and any licensed staff of a public or private facility that provides care or services for elder or dependent adults.” Under California State Elderly Abuse laws the failure to report elderly abuse and misconduct is considers a crime punishable by prison sentences and heavy fines.
Nursing Home Senior Citizen Fraud and Financial Abuse: Financial fraud against the elderly has risen over the past decade as the general population of our country grown older. Elder financial abuse is defined when a person in charge or in custody of the financial assets of the victim does any of the following:
Financial abuse is considered taking or appropriates the real or personal property of an elder or an adult for a improper or wrongful purpose with the intent to defraud.
Helping, aiding or assisting the taking or obtaining of any real or personal property of an elder or dependent adult with the purpose or intent to defraud.
Nursing Home/Hospital Liability Under Elder Abuse Act
Liability will be imposed under the Elder Abuse Act if they establish that (1) there was a basic responsibility to care for the needs of the victim. Such needs including hygiene, health, shelter and other basic necessities; (2) the defendant was aware of the conditions that made the elder or dependent adult unable to provide for himself; and (3) withheld goods or services needed by the elder.
A nursing home will be found liable in caring for an elder, when they fail to do the duties imposed by them by regulation or law.
Under the Dependent Adult Supervision Act courts have found both skilled nursing facilities and hospitals liable when they neglect their patients. Courts have found health care providers liable when they assume care or custody of the elderly patient, but fail to render proper service.
The Ultimate Guide to Nursing Home Neglect & Elder Abuse
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