Experienced Elder Abuse & Neglect Attorney
Offices in Pasadena & Claremont
Many seniors require special care as they age. What was once managed by the senior or their spouse may become too difficult as the senior declines in mental and physical capabilities. As the senior loses capabilities and steps out of management roles, others must step in. In some cases, families provide all the care that is needed. But more often, circumstances don’t allow families to provide all the care needed, and others are relied on to provide senior care.
Care comes in many forms. Care may involve health issues related to activities of daily living. It may involve financial help in the form of investment and estate planning, or basic bill paying and bookkeeping. Providers may include family members, professionals (lawyers, financial planners, CPAs), or caregivers. As caregivers and advisers are hired to help seniors, the possibilities for abuse increase. Many of these providers may be inexperienced. In-home caregivers may not be properly screened, financial advisers may violate their fiduciary duties and family members may abuse their roles.
The thought of someone hurting our elderly family members is horrifying, but elder abuse is a serious problem in our society and as our population ages, the incidents and risks of elder abuse will only increase. With this in mind, if you suspect that a loved one is being abused or neglected seek the assistance of a Los Angeles County elder abuse lawyer to assist you in going through the legal claims process and recovering damages.
What Is Elder Abuse?
Elder abuse is defined as intentional actions, or failure to act, by a caregiver or other trusted individual that causes harm to an older adult. Elder abuse encompasses many types of harm and includes financial, physical, and psychological abuse.
Elder Abuse Statistics
- Every three minutes an elder or dependent adult in California is abused
- Between 1 and 2 million Americans age 65 or older have been injured, exploited, or otherwise mistreated by someone on whom they depended for care or protection
- Over 500,000 older adults are believed to be abused or neglected each year
- Millions more are at risk as our population ages
- Recent research showed between 7.6% and 10% of study participants reporting some form of abuse in the last year
Seniors are a vulnerable class in our society. State and federal legislators have responded by enacting laws, funding senior programs, and instructing regulatory organizations to pay special attention to seniors. Numerous state and federal laws extend special protections and safeguards to seniors. These include programs like the California State Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program designed to help seniors resolve issues in long-term care facilities and The California Department of Aging’s Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Program (HICAP) that helps seniors understand and select health and drug insurance plans.
Types of California Elder Abuse Cases
Our elder abuse cases fall into one or more of the categories below, all of which should result in contact with a Los Angeles, Claremont, and Pasadena elder abuse lawyer:
Financial Elder Abuse
Financial elder abuse is the improper use of an elder’s financial resources for the monetary or personal benefit, profit, or gain. Examples include improper use of guardianship or power of attorney, forging an elder’s signature, cashing checks without the elder’s permission, and stealing possessions.
Physical Elder Abuse
Physical elder abuse occurs when someone injures, threatens, or inappropriately restrains or handles a senior. Examples of physical abuse include; acts of violence, inappropriate use of drugs, threatening with a gun or knife, restraining a senior in a chair or bed, and force-feeding.
Nursing Home Abuse – See Nursing Home Abuse Section
This occurs when employees and managers of nursing homes fail to live up to the required standards of care. Contact us if you suspect that an elderly person is being abused or neglected. See Nursing Home Abuse.
Sexual Elder Abuse
Sexual elder abuse is defined as any sexual contact against an elder’s will. Abusive sexual contact includes intentional touching (either directly or through the clothing), of the genitalia, anus, groin, breast, mouth, inner thigh, or buttocks. Perpetrators may include nursing home employees, private homecare workers, or community workers. This abuse often goes unreported because elderly people are unable to communicate what is happening, or are humiliated, or are threatened with repercussions.
Elder neglect occurs when a caregiver or responsible party refuses to provide life necessities, such as food, water, or shelter to a vulnerable elder. Neglect is one of the most common forms of abuse inflicted on dependent adults. Lack of proper hygiene, nutrition, over-medication, and even a failure to provide respectful and compassionate care and interaction can lead to health and emotional problems. Any such case should be addressed at once with the help of a Pasadena elder abuse attorney.
Lack of Proper Care
When a dependent adult is not properly cared for, a variety of common problems can emerge that pose serious and life-threatening conditions to the senior. Responsible caregivers, parties, and organizations must guard and prevent against the following:
- Wandering – Leaving the premises. Dementia patients must be properly monitored.
- Dehydration/Hydration – This can lead to urinary tract infections, dizziness, confusion, muscle weakness, weight loss, fever, and many other conditions, all of which can pose serious health threats.
- Malnutrition – Can lead to various health concerns, including a weakened immune system, which increases the risk of infections; muscle weakness, which can lead to falls and fractures; and poor wound healing.
- Infection (Sepsis) – This occurs when chemicals trigger inflammation throughout the body after being released to fight infection. The inflammation can damage critical organs, even resulting in organ failure.
- Bedsores – Injuries to the skin and underlying tissues that can lead to amputations and even death.
Assisted Living Facilities (ALF) Abuse
ALFs are not nursing homes and generally don’t provide medicals services. But they do provide assistance to their residents that include medication reminders, supervised activities, meal preparation, and basic monitoring. Negligence and willful misconduct on the part of any ALF employee can place the senior in a very dangerous situation.
Contacting a Los Angeles Region Elder Abuse Lawyer
Despite protective laws and the vigilance of well-meaning state and federal officials, elder abuse occurs frequently. When it does, families are devastated, confused, and embarrassed. Family members often blame themselves for failing to uncover and prevent the abuse or are concerned over what other family members may think of them. We understand these concerns and help families through these difficult times. Abuse does not occur because a concerned family member failed to uncover the abuse of another, abuse occurs because someone behaved badly. The Law Office of Scott Glovsky helps victims and their families pursue civil cases against perpetrators of elder abuse.
In general, elder abuse cases are personal injury cases based on negligence, intentional, and strict liability theories. Each of the categories is comprised of different types of legal wrongs or “causes of action.” The law also provides different standards of care to these wrongs. Federal and state laws and regulations, as well as state case law, may all provide relevant standards or requirements in determining when elder abuse has violated the law. Our Los Angeles, Claremont, and Pasadena elder abuse attorneys can help you assess the specific circumstance of your case. Please contact us for a free consultation.