Elder Abuse on the Rise
Sharp Increases in Elder Abuse Statistics
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently reported that America’s vulnerable elderly population is experiencing an alarming increase in violence and potential abuse. Assaults against the older generation of America nearly doubled between 2002 and 2016, and could double again by 2030 if population and violence rates continue on their current trend, the CDC said. Bay Area counties report that reported incidences of financial elder abuse are up dramatically as well. The Marin County and California elder abuse attorneys at Evans Law Firm, Inc. represent victims of physical and financial elder abuse of seniors whether at the hands of strangers, caregivers, trustees, conservators, financial advisors, or insurance agents selling inappropriate products like annuities or life insurance for a commission. If you or a loved one has been the victim of elder abuse in Marin or elsewhere in California, call our elder abuse lawyers today at (415)441-8669.
Spotting Elder Abuse
Signs of physical elder abuse include:
- Bedsores/pressure ulcers or other poor skin conditions;
- Bruises and scratch marks;
- Poor physical appearance or lack of cleanliness;
- Frequent infections;
- Injuries from wandering off unsupervised (known as elopement);
- Indication of sexual assault, rape, or battery;
- Lack of equipment and supplies;
- Rapid weight loss;
- Abnormal or withdrawn behavior and unusual silence;
- Prolonged sleep or drowsiness;
- Agitation especially when certain caregivers are present or caregivers who do not want the patient to be alone with others;
- Reluctance to speak when staff is nearby;
- Unsanitary and unclean conditions, soiled bed linens and clothes;
- Fear of being touched.
Signs of financial elder abuse include:
- Unexpected changes in wills, trusts or powers of attorney.
- Sale to the senior of an inappropriate annuity or life insurance policy.
- Changes in spending habits and cash withdrawals or different types of spending than the senior normally incurs.
- Sudden or unexplained check cashing, transfers of money or ATM withdrawals or credit card activity.
- Opening of a new bank or brokerage account (or multiple accounts) or changing banks and brokerage firms.
- Unpaid bills.
- Unusual increase in investment activity or change in investment style.
- A senior who is overly reluctant to discuss financial matters perhaps out of fear from retaliation from a caregiver or other abuser.
- Allowing a new friend or trusted acquaintance to make decisions on the elderly person’s behalf
- Someone screening the elder’s phone calls or going through their mail
- Preventing Elder Abuse
When an aging senior lives alone, he or she is always at greater risk of elder abuse. If you have a senior loved one, stay involved in his or her life and visit regularly, and consider alternative living arrangements when your senior loved one is no longer able to live alone. If they need in-home assistance, do a background check on anyone you hire to assist your loved one in the home. To prevent financial elder abuse, regularly review bank accounts, checkbooks, statements, and important papers. Accompany seniors on trips to the bank or any business meeting. Ward off strangers who take a sudden interest in their “well-being” or financial matters. Never ever grant a Power of Attorney to a caregiver. If you suspect any kind of elder abuse notify the authorities immediately. Marin County Adult Protective Services maintains a 24/7 hotline at 415-473-2774. Also reach out to counsel to help you pursue all available remedies for victims, including the award of attorneys’ fees and costs in certain cases making the burden of litigating against abusers easier.
If you or someone you love is the victim of any type of elder abuse including financial elder abuse by a caregiver, trustee, insurance agent, broker, financial advisor or other party, call Ingrid M. Evans and the other Marin County and California elder abuse attorneys at Evans Law Firm, Inc. at (415) 441-8669, or by email at <a href=”mailto:email@example.com”>firstname.lastname@example.org</a>. Our attorneys have experience with securities, annuity, and other investment fraud, financial elder abuse cases and complex qui tam or whistleblower cases including offshore tax avoidance cases, complex financial contract cases and cases against large insurance companies. We can help guide your case through a jury trial or toward an equitable settlement. We also handle cases involving physical elder abuse, nursing home abuse, whole life insurance and universal life insurance, and indexed, variable, and fixed annuities.