Elder Abuse

 Senior CaretakerIt is estimated that there are nearly 5 million cases of elder abuse every year in the United States.  The incidence of elder abuse and nursing home abuse in California is growing rapidly.  Each day, hundreds of members of our elder population in California are victimized.  If your loved one is a victim of abuse or neglect in a nursing home or residential facility, there are likely other residents at the nursing home who are also being neglected or abused.  Unfortunately, many cases of nursing home abuse go unreported as seniors are either too afraid to report the abuse for fear of retaliation or embarrassment or simply do not know that they are being abused.  The San Diego elder abuse attorneys at the Law Offices of Robert Vaage have over 20 years of experience in elder abuse and nursing home abuse.  If a loved one of yours has been abused please contact our office today at (619) 338-0505.

The law defines elder abuse as “physical abuse, neglect, financial abuse, abandonment, isolation, abduction or other treatment with resulting in physical harm or pain or mental suffering, or the deprivation by a care custodian of goods or services that are necessary to avoid physical harm or mental suffering.” (California Welfare & Institutions Code, Section 15610.07 and in Penal Code 368).  The signs of elder abuse are often subtle and a senior who is being abused frequently fails to report the abuse.  Nursing home residents are often the victims of horrible elderly abuse because they have physical or mental restrictions that leave them unable to communicate what is going on.  The first step in preventing nursing home abuse is being able to recognize the common signs which are either mental, physical, or negligence.

Mental abuse signs include:

  • Depression
  • Agitation
  • Confusion or disorientation
  • Derogatory, humiliating comments by staff
  • Hesitation to talk openly
  • Withdrawal
  • Anxiety

Physical abuse signs include:

  • Bruises
  • Scratches, cuts, or burns
  • Unexplained vaginal or anal bleeding, or torn, stained and bloody under clothing
  • Physical restraint not used properly
  • Broken bones
  • Sudden loss of weight

Neglect signs include:

  • Poor hygiene
  • Signs of feces on resident or in bathroom and smell of urine
  • Malnutrition and/or dehydration
  • Bedsores
  • Lack of assistance with eating and drinking
  • Missing money or property
  • Sudden changes in personal and financial affairs
  • Staffing problems

If your loved one has unexplained injuries, bed sores, or any of the above warning signs, and you are suspicious of elder abuse or nursing home negligence, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit including a wrongful death law suit if the elder abuse has led to death.  Contact an experienced nursing home negligence attorney at the Law Offices of Robert Vaage.  Our attorneys are committed to protecting the rights of the elderly and enforcing elder law.  Call today for a free legal consultation.

Once you know that your loved one has suffered from elder abuse it is important to take the next step and report the incident to the proper authorities. Due to statute of limitation laws that set out deadlines to bring a lawsuit, you should seek an experienced elder abuse attorney at the Law Offices of Robert Vaage immediately to file your claim in order to prevent any delays in your case.  By finding the right elder abuse attorney, you are taking the first step to not only help prevent future cases of abuse from occurring, but also seeking the remedies you deserve.  It is important that you document the abuse and/or neglect which you or a loved one has suffered.  Photographic evidence is helpful to document unsanitary conditions, poor hygiene, bed sores, physical abuse, etc.  If your loved one has been a victim of elder abuse, please contact an attorney at the Law Offices of Robert Vaage today at (619) 338-0505.