According to the University of California, Irvine’s School of Medicine, one in ten of our elders experience abuse every year – and many times in multiple forms, including physical abuse, financial exploitation, abandonment and emotional abuse. Simply stated, these forms of abuse are absolutely sinister for how they devastate some of the most vulnerable people in our communities.
As a state, Californians have done a decent job recently in proactively taking steps to protect our elderly populace. While Nursing Home Report Cards ranks California 12th nationwide in terms of safety for our elderly in nursing homes – we were #28 – in their latest rankings, please remember that there are more than half a million elders in the U.S. are abused every year, and millions more cases go unreported.
Elders are particularly vulnerable because they are often physically frail and do not hear or think as clearly as they once did. According to the National Center on Elder Abuse, the majority of abusers are family members. Elders are also particularly vulnerable in nursing homes, even when they’re surrounded by staff who are hired to protect them.
There are a few signs that should raise your suspicion that an elder is being or has been abused. These include:
If you have an elderly friend or loved one who lives in a nursing home, become a regular visitor. This establishes to the staff that you will more than likely see the signs of any potential abuse and that you intend to be involved in the care of your loved one.
The first priority is to put an end to the abuse. To do that, use these resources:
If you suspect elder abuse in a nursing home, do not contact the nursing home administrators just yet. Their first priority is their business. They may offer compensation in exchange for your signature absolving them of responsibility. DO NOT DO THIS!
You need the guidance of an experienced lawyer who thoroughly knows the elderly abuse laws of California. Here at Gilleon Law Firm, APC, we have over 50 years of combined experience in prosecuting cases involving accidents and elder abuse. If you suspect that an elder is being abused, contact our offices for a free consultation.