78-Year-Old Dementia Victim Suffered Physical and Financial Elder Abuse
Hospital Notifies Police
San Francisco Sees Increase In Elder Abuse Cases
Cases of reported elder and dependent adult abuse have jumped 18-20% year over year in San Francisco since 2017 according to the Family Violence Council in San Francisco. Financial elder abuse seems to be rising at a faster rate than physical abuse but sometimes older persons are victims of both physical and financial abuse. Older persons under the care of in-home caregivers are particularly vulnerable to both financial and physical abuse and neglect because in large part caregivers who abuse or neglect their wards have been more likely to get away with it during the forced isolation of seniors due to COVID-19. Dementia patients are always at risk because they may not be aware of what is happening to them or to communicate about it. When family or the authorities are able to discover what is going on, things have really worsened or the elder may have died. Fortunately, as pandemic distancing requirements ease, and older persons and their family members are fully vaccinated, regular contact with older persons can be restored and hopefully bring greater protection for the elders against abuse and against. If you do have an older loved one or neighbor who has suffered any form of elder abuse or neglect, call us. Evans Law Firm, Inc. represents injured seniors and dependent adults and their families here in San Francisco and throughout California. We can be reached at (415)441-8669.
Reported Case of Physical Abuse, Neglect, and Financial Abuse
In one recent case, a 78-year-old dementia sufferer under the care of an in-home caregiver suffered gruesome physical abuse and neglect and likely financial abuse according to police. The charges against the caregiver allege that the dementia victim was admitted to a 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 police made contact with her after the hospital alerted authorities. 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. Police are also investigating the case for financial elder abuse of the victim while she was unable to defend herself from any financial exploitation or realize what was going on.
How You Can Protect An Older Loved One From Neglect and Abuse
Always stay involved in an older loved one’s life and be especially vigilant in checking in on them if they are under the care of an in-home caregiver or admitted to a nursing home or other care facility. Always vet any caregiver before they ever enter an older loved one’s home, and check the license status of any facility you are considering by running a check on the California Department of Public Health website. Run a background check on caregiver and the agency (you can do that on the California Department of Social Services website) before 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; do the same with any facility you are considering. Once an older loved one is admitted to a home or under the care of an in-home caregiver check in frequently in person (safely) and by phone; always speak directly and privately with the senior as they may not be open and candid if an abusive or intimidating caregiver is present. 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.
If you have any suspicions whatsoever that your loved one is suffering any kind of abuse here in San Francisco or elsewhere in California, call Ingrid M. Evans at (415) 441-8669, or email us at email@example.com. Ingrid will pursue any individual responsible for the abuse as well as their supervising employers, agencies, or the owners of any home or other facility where the victim resides and has been abused. 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.
 Evans Law Firm, Inc. is not involved in the case in any way.