Elder Neglect A Growing Problem
Hundreds Of Thousands Of Seniors Suffer From Neglect
Recourse Against Neglect By Paid Caregivers And Nursing Homes
When a caregiver fails to meet the needs of an elderly person who cannot care for themselves, neglect can result. Sometimes the caregiver may withhold nourishment, medications, or even hygiene, leaving the elderly person in serious danger. According to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, hundreds of thousands of seniors are intentionally neglected by family members and caregivers each year. Many victims are people who cannot help themselves and depend on others to meet their most basic needs. Parties responsible for such abuse and neglect are liable for their actions under California Law. See Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code §§ 15610.07 (definition of abuse), 15610.57 (definition of neglect), and 15610.63 (definition of physical abuse). Evans Law Firm, Inc. represents older persons neglected or abandoned by paid caregivers or nursing homes or while patients in a hospice program. If you have a loved one who has suffered from abuse or neglect in San Francisco or elsewhere throughout California, call us today at (415)441-8669 or TOLL FREE 1-888-80EVANS (888-503-8267).
Statistics On Elder Abuse And Neglect
According to the National Council on Aging, one in 10 elderly persons has experienced some form of elder abuse. However, many possible cases are not reported, because the elderly person is unwilling or unable to tell family, friends, or authorities about their experiences. Additional research reveals the following disturbing findings:
- 551,011 persons age 60 and older experienced abuse, neglect, and/or self-neglect in a one-year period.
- Conservative estimates put the number of elders who have been injured, exploited, or otherwise mistreated at about 1 to 2 million; however, studies suggest that four times as many new incidents of abuse, neglect, and/or self-neglect are unreported than are reported to and substantiated by Adult Protective Services agencies.
- Persons age 80 years and older suffer abuse and neglect at a rate two to three times greater than their proportion of the older population.
- Abuse can also occur at a long-term care facility, such as a nursing home or assisted-living residence. Employees and temporary staff who have direct contact with residents are the most frequent perpetrators. Other offenders may include other family and old friends, newly developed “friends” who intentionally prey on older adults, and service providers in positions of trust.
Signs And Symptoms
Possible signs of elder abuse or neglect include:
- Absence of necessities including food, water, and heat
- Untreated bedsores/pressure wounds
- Untreated or unexplained worsening of medical or mental conditions
- Inadequate living environment evidenced by a lack of utilities, sufficient space, and ventilation
- Signs of medication mismanagement, including empty or unmarked bottles or outdated prescriptions
- Unsafe housing as a result of disrepair, faulty wiring, inadequate sanitation, substandard cleanliness, or architectural barriers
- Unexplained injuries or unlikely explanations for injuries
- Dehydration or malnutrition, often evidenced by loss of weight or extreme thirst, low urinary output, dry, fragile skin, dry, sore mouth, apathy, lack of energy, and mental confusion
- Poor personal hygiene
- Being unclothed, or improperly clothed, for the weather
- Extreme withdrawal or agitation
- Ambivalent feelings toward caregivers
If you have a loved one who has suffered any kind of abuse or neglect at the hands of an in-home caregiver or while living in a nursing home, call us at Evans Law Firm, Inc. right away. You can reach Ingrid M. Evans at (415) 441-8669, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or TOLL FREE 1-888-80EVANS (888-503-8267). Ingrid knows how to investigate cases of physical (and financial) elder abuse and pursues all remedies available under California law which include holding supervisors and owners responsible for neglect and abuse of institutionalized patients. Awards may include attorneys’ fees and expenses you’ve incurred in bringing your case.