A Growing Problem For a Growing Segment of Our Population
Over 200,000 Seniors In Santa Clara County
All Are Potential Elder Abuse Victims
Any senior is potentially a victim of elder abuse and the growing incidents of abuse and the growing elderly population here in Santa Clara County make this a truly urgent dilemma in this County. The dilemma is further exacerbated by the pandemic, as seniors suffer from COVID-19 in greater numbers than the rest of the population and for those who escape the virus but are at risk of abuse or neglect as a result of forced social isolation. Any way you look at it, times are really difficult for the elderly population here in Santa Clara County. The elder abuse litigators at Evans Law Firm, Inc. represent seniors and their loved ones here in Santa Clara County and throughout California who suffer any form of elder abuse. If you need help, call us today at (415)441-8669.
The Broad Areas of Elder Abuse
In broad terms, elder abuse can be defined in the following ways:
- Physical Abuse—inflicting physical pain or injury on a senior, e.g. slapping, bruising, or restraining by physical or chemical means
- Sexual Abuse— rape and non-consensual sexual contact of any kind
- Neglect—the failure by those responsible to provide food, shelter, health care, or protection for a vulnerable elder
- Financial Exploitation / Financial Abuse—the illegal taking, misuse, or concealment of funds, property, or assets of a senior for someone else’s benefit
- Emotional Abuse—inflicting mental pain, anguish, or distress on an elder person through verbal or nonverbal acts (e.g. humiliating, intimidating, or threatening)
- Abandonment—desertion of a vulnerable elder by anyone who has assumed the responsibility for care or custody of that person
- Self-neglect—characterized as the failure of a person to perform essential, self-care tasks and that such failure threatens his/her own health or safety
Keeping Seniors Safe From Abuse In the Pandemic
During the ongoing COVID pandemic, safeguarding seniors has become more important – and more problematic – than in our pre-COVID world. Physical contact places a senior at real risk of harm. But isolation on the other hand is a breeding ground for abuse. Find a middle way to stay involved through Facetime and Zoom or other safe ways to stay in touch and, if your loved one is in a nursing home, ask a trusted staff member to keep an eye on them and alert you to any problems. If you have a senior loved one or neighbor living alone here in Santa Clara County, keep any eye on them (safely) as well. Be on the lookout for:
- Changes in living arrangements
- Poor living conditions in comparison with a senior’s assets
- Changes in the senior’s appearance
- The senior no longer seems independent
- A new “friend” has taken an inordinate interest in the senior’s like
- Items go missing or are being taken without the senior’s consent
If you see something, do something:
- Contact elder abuse counsel to discuss legal recourse, remedies, and the time in which you need to bring a case. Every kind of abuse has a different period in which you have to bring suit so do not ever delay in seeking legal help. Otherwise, it might be too late.
- Seek out additional support from a local community center, synagogue, or church. These organizations have been really creative in responding to senior needs during the pandemic and a good and dependable services in times of trouble.
- Speak with your local Adult Protective Services unit and the police.
- In the case of an emergency or if the abuse has turned physical, call 911
We cannot emphasize enough the importance of acting immediately if you suspect any elder abuse whatsoever. The point may seem obvious in the case of physical abuse but it is also true for financial abuse. It never just stops on its own. Ingrid M. Evans and the other Santa Clara County elder abuse attorneys at Evans Law Firm, Inc. represent seniors and their families against any persons or businesses responsible for the abuse. Ingrid and our other elder abuse attorneys can be reached at (415) 441-8669, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.