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Apr 8, 2021 by |

Riverside County Elder Abuse Attorney: Physical and Financial Elder Abuse By In-Home Caregivers

ATTORNEY NEWSLETTER

Desert Hot Springs Case Of Alleged Physical and Financial Elder Abuse

Hospital Staff Reports Possible Neglect Case To Police

Elder Abuse Increasing Throughout Riverside County

Older persons under the care of in-home caregivers are increasingly vulnerable to abuse and neglect because in large part caregivers who do abuse or neglect their wards are more able to get away with it now during the forced isolation of seniors due to COVID-19.  Riverside County Adult Protective Services has reported a steady increse in reported cases of elder abuse over the past several years.  Cases have really picked up as a result of lockdown. When family or the authorities are able to discover what is going on, things have really worsened or the elder may have died. In one recent case,[1] a 78-year-old dementia sufferer under the care of an in-home caregiver had both legs amputated after she reported to the hospital with gangrene in both legs. Police subsequently arrested her caregiver on charges of elder abuse and neglect.   The Riverside County elder and dependent adult abuse attorneys at Evans Law Firm, Inc. represent injured seniors and dependent adults in Riverside County and throughout California.  Our elder abuse litigators can be reach at (415)441-8669. 

Reported Case

In the reported case, a the 78-year-old dementia victim was admitted to a local hospital with 34 infected, visible wounds on her legs and gangrene. According to hospital records she arrived at the hospital in an altered mental state as a result of the infections and shock.  Her  legs had to be amputated after “severe gangrene” developed from months of alleged neglect by her caregiver, according to police. Her legs were “rotted to the bones” by the time Desert Hot Springs police made contact with her after the hospital alerted authorities. The victim remained unconscious when the police encountered her at the hospital and investigators aren’t sure she’ll ever be capable of talking to them, according to an article in The Desert Sun.  Hospital staff had contacted police because of concerns of neglect and a doctor concluded that the victim’s condition developed over a matter of months, emitted a “horrendous smell,” and should’ve been noticeable to anyone, according to his declaration.  According to the doctor’s declaration, gangrene can occur from conditions such as a blood clot, or when significant pressure is placed on a body part, and can occur if someone is in bed for an extended period without turning or getting up. Under extreme circumstances, gangrene may develop within a matter of hours the doctor’s report concluded.  Police searched the victim’s home on and found empty bottles of over-the-counter ointments.  According to police, it appeared the victim’s mattress was rotted and bodily fluid had leaked through onto the floor.  Police are also investigating the case for financial elder abuse, according to The Desert Sun article.

Protecting Older Loved Ones From Neglect and Abuse

The most important first step in protection is to vet any caregiver before they ever enter an older loved one’s home.  Run a check on caregiver and the agency employing him or her to see if there have been reported complaints or citations against it.  Ask for and contact all references of other patients.  Once you have fully vetted and hired a caregiver, keep up your vigilance in monitoring your loved one’s care. If physical visits are still off-limits use Facetime, Zoom or other safe methods of checking in remotely and be sure to speak one-on-one with your loved one; don’t let a caregiver speak for them.  Safeguard the senior or dependent adult’s property too. Keep valuables locked up and do not have cash, credit cards or confidential information near at hand. Never ever let a senior or dependent adult give a caregiver a Power of Attorney.  If you suspect any problem, call elder counsel such as the elder attorneys at Evans Law Firm.

Contact Us

If you have any suspicions whatsoever that your loved one is suffering any kind of abuse, call Ingrid M. Evans and our other Riverside County elder and dependent adult abuse attorneys at (415) 441-8669, or email us at info@evanslaw.com.  Ingrid and out other elder abuse litigators know how to investigate cases of physical and financial abuse and how to pursue all remedies available under California law.  We will pursue any individual responsibility for the abuse as well as their supervising employers, agencies, and owners.  In cases of financial abuse remedies include getting stolen money back (restitution), undoing any trusts or contracts the abuser may have fraudulently created (rescissions), damages for pain and suffering, punitive damages where available and an award of the attorneys’ fees and expenses you’ve incurred in bringing your case.

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

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