Temecula Elder Abuse Attorney
Our nation’s elderly are also some of its most vulnerable. We owe our elderly loved ones care and protection when they can no longer care for themselves. Temecula residents often turn to long-term care facilities or in-home services to help with activities of daily living. Unfortunately, there are those who exploit elders for personal or financial gain. But a Temecula elder abuse lawyer can help you protect your loved ones and fight back!
According to the United States Department of Justice, over 10 percent of all elderly people are abused each year. This means of the 40 million people aged 65 or older in the country, over 4 million are currently suffering from some kind of abuse. Unfortunately, only 1 in 14 of these cases are reported to the authorities. What can you do if you suspect a loved one is suffering from the effects of elder abuse?
7 Types of Elder Abuse
The National Center on Elder Abuse describes seven distinct categories of abuse:
- Physical abuse includes injuries such as bruises, broken bones, and frequent visits to a facility’s medical provider.
- Emotional abuse may occur when a caregiver threatens an elder’s well-being. An example is false imprisonment, in which a caregiver restricts an elder’s mobility, depriving them access to their whole house, facility, or the outdoors.
- Sexual abuse warning signs include sexually transmitted infection, genital or anal injury, or bleeding.
- Neglect occurs when a caregiver fails to provide appropriate care. This may lead to bedsores (in the case of incapacitated persons), malnourishment, or infections from poor hygiene. When neglect causes actual or possible serious harm, it becomes physical abuse.
- Financial exploitation occurs when a caregiver fraudulently uses an elder’s financial information – for example, they may steal cash or credit cards, or put excess charges on their resident account. They may also coerce an elder into amending a will or deed.
- Abandonment is defined as when a caregiver leaves or stops providing care for an elder without notice.
- Self-neglect is when an elder refuses care, but others don’t take the necessary actions to rectify it.
What are the Warning Signs for Elder Abuse?
Types of elder abuse may occur in isolation or in combination. The incident may be short in duration or over prolonged periods of time. Keep an eye out for these red flags for elder abuse:
- Sudden or suspicious changes in behavior. For example, an elder may amend a deed or will to reflect the wishes of a caregiver, or begin withdrawing large amounts of cash.
- Fearful behavior or anxiety around certain people. Emotional abuse may also present as “false dementia,” or erratic emotional behavior that others may dismiss as mental incapacity.
- Sudden changes in hygiene or dramatic weight loss.
- Suspicious or frequent visits to the doctor for bruising, broken bones, or injuries attributed to falls.
- Bedsores that become worse.
- Angry outbursts or depression.
- Any change in behavior that seems out of character.
What to Do If You Suspect Temecula Elder Abuse
If you suspect elder abuse, don’t wait to take action. As soon as possible, observe the following:
- Remove your loved one from the dangerous situation.
- Gather evidence that verifies their story. This may include talking to coherent residents or neighbors.
- Alert the authorities. Get the local police and district attorney’s office involved. If they find enough evidence, they will press charges.
Call our Temecula personal injury attorneys to schedule a free consultation; we will listen to your scenario, make a plan and get to work protecting your loved ones.
Contact a Temecula Elder Abuse Attorney
Elder abuse is a crime punishable by prison time and fines, but you are also eligible to pursue a civil claim against the defendant to compensate for damages (or the company who hired them). You may be able to get a refund for services rendered, as well as funds to compensate for the pain and suffering your loved one endured. To learn more about our elder abuse services, contact our law firm for a free initial consultation.