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Mar 18, 2020 by |

California and Alameda County Nursing Home and Elder Abuse Attorneys: Neglect Can Be Fatal


Neglect of Older Persons Is Elder Abuse

Neglect In Nursing Homes Or By In-Home Caregivers

Infections, Malnutrition or Bed Sores/Pressure Wounds Can Be Fatal

Neglect of the elderly can be a very dangerous, potentially fatal, form of elder abuse. California expressly includes neglect as a form of abuse.  Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code § 15610.57.  Neglect of a senior can result in bedsores/pressure wounds, dehydration, malnutrition, infection, and paralysis. In a case reported just last week, two nursing home aides were arrested for allegedly neglecting a patient who suffered severe weight loss as an alleged result of the neglect and had to be place on a feeding tube.[1]  Our elder abuse litigators have seen cases where patients die of infections, bed sores/pressure wounds, and fatal injuries sustained when a neglected patient wanders off (elopement). The elder abuse attorneys at Evans Law Firm represent seniors who have suffered any kind of abuse, including neglect by a caregiver, family member, spouse, boyfriend or girlfriend, other friend, or nursing home or other care facility. If you or someone you know is suffering from any form of elder abuse in Alameda County or elsewhere in California, call our elder abuse attorneys today at 415-441-8669, and we can help.

“Neglect” is defined under the California Elder And Dependent Adult Abuse Prevention Act as follows:

 (1) The negligent failure of any person having the care or custody of an elder or a dependent adult to exercise that degree of care that a reasonable person in a like position would exercise.

(2) The negligent failure of an elder or dependent adult to exercise that degree of self care that a reasonable person in a like position would exercise.

(b) Neglect includes, but is not limited to, all of the following:

(1) Failure to assist in personal hygiene, or in the provision of food, clothing, or shelter. (2) Failure to provide medical care for physical and mental health needs. No person shall be deemed neglected or abused for the sole reason that he or she voluntarily relies on treatment by spiritual means through prayer alone in lieu of medical treatment.

(3) Failure to protect from health and safety hazards.

(4) Failure to prevent malnutrition or dehydration.

(5) Failure of an elder or dependent adult to satisfy the needs specified in paragraphs (1) to (4), inclusive, for himself or herself as a result of poor cognitive functioning, mental limitation, substance abuse, or chronic poor health.

Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code § 15610.57.

Persons and entities responsible for the neglect of an elderly person may be subject to extra damages for injuries sustained and in certain circumstances attorneys’ fees and costs incurred by the senior in bringing an action against them for elder abuse and neglect. Calif. Welf & Inst. Code § 15657. 

Neglect can occur in institutions or in a senior’s own home when a caregiver neglects him or her. A neglected bedridden senior can develop bed sores or pressure wounds very quickly or succumb to malnutrition, dehydration, or infection.  Infections from bed sores/pressure wounds can be fatal.  If you have a senior loved one in a home or under the care of an in-home caregiver, visit frequently and look for signs of neglect or abuse:

  • Bed sores/pressure wounds.
  • Evidence of sexual assault or rape.
  • Bruises, scratch marks or sores.
  • Excessive drowsiness that may indicate overmedication.
  • Appearing hungry, malnourished, or with a sudden weight loss.
  • Appearing disoriented or confused.
  • Appearing disheveled or wearing soiled clothing.
  • Expressing feelings of hopelessness, worthlessness or insignificance.
  • Failing to take prescribed medications or nutritional supplements.
  • Blaming self for problems arising with family or caregivers.
  • Living in squalor or hazardous situations such as hoarding or cluttering.

Our elder abuse litigators have seen cases involving all of the above signs of neglect or abuse. If you suspect elder abuse, contact the authorities but also reach out to elder abuse counsel to pursue all available remedies against all those responsible for a senior loved one’s injury.                

Contact Us

If you or a loved one is or has been the victim of neglect or any form of elder physical or financial abuse in Alameda County or elsewhere in California, contact Ingrid M. Evans and the other elder abuse attorneys at the Evans Law Firm at (415) 441-8669, or by email at <a href=””></a>. We can help guide your case through a jury trial or toward an equitable settlement. We handle cases involving physical and financial elder abuse, qui tam and whistleblower law, nursing home abuse, whole life insurance and universal life insurance, and indexed, variable, and fixed annuities.

[1] Evans Law Firm, Inc. was not involved in any way in the case.

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