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Elder Abuse & Nursing Home Neglect Law

Is your loved one showing signs of elder abuse?

When our loved ones become unable to live alone, it is often necessary to entrust their care to a nursing home or a senior living community. Although you trust the facility to provide a safe, loving and happy environment to your parent or grandparent, this trust can be violated when a caregiver disappoints you by neglecting, or even abusing, your loved one.

What can I do about elder abuse?

The state legislature of California has enacted a crucial set of laws in the Welfare & Institutions Code known as the Elder Abuse Act. This code is designed to protect the rights of our elders 65 and older, as well as dependent adults. In Southern California, the Elder Abuse Act severely penalizes those who victimize our elders.

Why didn't they tell me?

There are many reasons why an elder may not speak up when they are being abused or neglected.

The Elder May...
  • feel frightened or threatened by their abuser
  • be embarrassed by their inability to stop the abuse
  • be convinced that the abuse or neglect is "normal"

Physical abuse of elders

Physical abuse can range from slapping or hitting to restraint of an elder. Physical abuse can worsen an elder's health and cause serious psychological ailments.

Symptoms of physical abuse can include...
  • Bruises or other marks on the body
  • Marks on wrists or ankles from restraints
  • Hair loss from grabbing/pulling hair
  • Scratches or bite marks
  • Burn marks
  • Frequent or unexplained fractures or other injuries
  • Frequent emergency room visits
The elder's caregiver may...
  • Offer explanations inconsistent with injuries
  • Fail to give status reports to families
  • Fail to notify family when elder is taken to the emergency room
  • Refuse to take elder to the doctor
  • Won't allow family/friends to visit

Nursing Home neglect

Neglect is astoundingly common and occurs when a caregiver fails to meet the basic needs of an elder - food, clothing, medications and other essentials.

Symptons of neglect may include...
  • Bedsores
  • Rapid weight gain or loss
  • Under or over medication
  • Untrained staff
  • Unsanitary living conditions
  • Dirty bed linens and/or clothing
  • Untreated sores or open wounds
  • Malnutrition or dehydration
The caregiver may...
  • Fail to medicate or treat elder
  • Not bathe elder
  • Not provide adequate activity to the elder
  • Not allow family or friends to visit

Emotional and Psychological abuse

Name-calling, intimidation and isolation are all forms of emotional/psychological abuse. While it may be less visible than physical abuse, emotional/psychological abuse can be just as damaging to the elder's health and well-being.

Symptoms of emotional & psychological abuse might include...
  • Isolation
  • Unwillingness to communicate
  • Depression and/or Negative attitude
  • Nervousness
  • Rocking or sucking
  • Lack of interest in visitors or social activities
  • Violent behavior, e.g. biting or hitting
The caregiver may...
  • Call the elder hurtful names
  • Talk down to the elder
  • Treat the elder like a child
  • Give elder the "silent treatment"
  • Withhold elder from family and friends

Seek help today for elder abuse!

We must be advocates for the quality care our elders deserve. If you suspect abuse or neglect, please contact us today to learn how you can help protect elders' rights and ensure that their "golden years" are happy and healthy.

San Diego County
La Mesa
Doan Law Firm, LLP
635 Camino De Los Mares
Suite 100
San Clemente, CA 92673
(888) 362.6529

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