Elderly Abuse Attorneys

Our most fragile citizens deserve and require full legal support and protection.

No one should suffer physical and emotional abuse in a nursing home, care facility, or institution. Unfortunately, we see it happen every day. As baby boomers age, incidences of neglect and abuse will climb ever higher. It is intolerable that the most vulnerable in society should become victims of schemes to steal their money, property, identity, dignity, and well-being.

Experienced Elderly Abuse Attorneys

If you or your loved one encounter an elder abuse situation or if your concerns have gone unheeded by the staff, administration, or care provider, don’t hesitate for another second. Contact us for legal guidance, resolution, and restitution. We will not rest until justice is served and our client is out of harm’s way.

Elder Abuse Law Basics

Elder and nursing home abuse cases are usually filed by or in the name of an “elder” (any person 65 years of age or older residing in California) or a “dependent adult” (any person between the ages of 18 and 64 years of age, residing in California), who has physical or mental limitations that restrict his/her ability to carry out normal activities or to protect his/her rights.

Generally speaking, abuse of an elder or a dependent adult means either of the following:

  • (1) physical abuse, neglect, financial abuse, abandonment, isolation, abduction, or other treatment that results in physical harm, pain, or mental suffering, or
  • (2) the deprivation by a care custodian of goods or services that are necessary to avoid physical harm or mental suffering.

Types of Elder Abuse & Neglect

Nursing Home Abuse in California

An article from the Kaiser Health News details a disturbing trend in retirement facilities. It details an 85-year-old woman who had been in a California nursing home. When her daughter, Mary Chiu, visited her at the facility, her daughter discovered that bed sores were covering her body. There was a sore so grave on the woman’s backside that it exposed the bone. She had to receive treatment several times for sores and bacterial infections. The wounds continued until the elderly lady died in April 2012. Her daughter stated that her mother suffered until the very end.

After Ms. Chiu noticed her mother’s injuries, she contacted the Los Angeles County public health department to request a thorough investigation of the facility. Unfortunately, three years have passed and the public health officials still have not concluded the investigation. Within this time, Ms. Chiu already won a lawsuit against the nursing home in which an arbitrator ruled that her mother had been the victim of elder abuse, negligence, and wrongful death.

A Disturbing Trend

Unfortunately, this is not an isolated incident. The state of California has been behind in its investigation of nursing institutions, and as a result, it means that nursing institutions that may be neglectful in the treatment of their residents do not have to worry about quick and thorough investigations to determine their neglect. This lack of timely oversight on behalf of county and state authorities means that it is of even greater significance for a person to do their due diligence in regard to the treatment their loved ones receive in these institutions.

 Sexual Assault in Nursing Homes

When people think of abuse in nursing homes, they tend to focus on physical and emotional pain inflicted upon elderly individuals. However, another type of abuse is present in nursing homes, and it can be just as damaging as the aforementioned types of abuse. Sexual abuse of the elderly is not an uncommon problem, especially because those in nursing homes may not have their claims believed. It is easy to understand how the elderly could be targets for abuse. As they may be in an incapacitated state or have few loved ones around them, they are especially vulnerable and dependent upon their caretakers.

It is extremely important to note that in the case of sexual abuse of the elderly, it is not merely the ability of a person to voice opposition to sexual advances that is necessary to bring charges. If a person does not have the mental capabilities to consent to sexual contact, any sexual contact between the incapable person and another is sufficient for a charge of sexual abuse. A person must have the ability to consent to sexual contact for it to be permissible.

Sexual Assault Case Examples

While it is important to bring offenders to justice for perpetrating acts of elderly abuse, one case describes perfectly why one should obtain legal assistance when such an event occurs. In this case an 89-year-old woman and was raped by her 30-year-old nursing assistant in Minnesota.

Doubting Elderly Victims of Abuse

While the court sentenced the abuser to four years in prison, the 89-year old woman received no counseling or assistance after reporting the sexual assault. The police also confined her to the mental health unit of a hospital for three days subsequent to the attack. According to the article, the nursing home seemed to doubt her statements because of the early signs of dementia that she had shown. Because elderly people in nursing homes may suffer from mental deficiencies, their claims and statement may be less likely to be believed. Every year, elderly people in nursing home are victims of abuse. If you know someone who claims to be the victim of such abuse, it is imperative that you contact a legal representative to assure both the prosecution for the crime and the proper counseling and assistance for recovery from such a terrible event.

Civil Damages

While one is able to witness the prosecution of the criminal, this article also shows that you or your loved ones may be able to receive civil damages as well. In this case, the woman’s family decided to sue the nursing home for the actions of the nursing assistant. This comes from the principle of vicarious liability. In this case, a court could reasonably impute liability to the nursing home if they believed that the nursing home had improperly monitored the nursing assistant or had an obligation do so and neglected that responsibility.

Financial Scams Targeting the Elderly

  • False awards or prizes. Examples abound in which scammers inform an elderly person that he or she has won the lottery, and all they have to do to claim their prize is send a payment fee for taxes. One of the largest, most successful scams ever was a con like this that came out of Canada.
  • Telesales fraud. In addition to attempting to convince the elderly that they have won the lottery over the phone, telemarketers often try to sell elderly individuals items that are either worthless, or never arrive. The telemarketers then steal the person’s credit card information and sell it on the black market.
  • Unsolicited repair work. Some scammers will search for neighborhoods with elderly residents or look through obituaries for people that might be living alone in a home, and then knock on the elderly individual’s front door and inform him or her that something inside or outside of their home needs fixing. The scammers will demand payment and pretend to do work, but nothing is actually done.
  • Fraudulent legal trouble. Scammers will also try to obtain money by pretending to be attorneys, and then obtaining power of attorney over an elderly person’s property. They may also pretend that a close relative to the elderly individual is in trouble or injured, and the only way to save the relative is by sending money.

Let Us Help You

If you or a loved one has been a victim of elder abuse and you wish to speak to an attorney, please call us at 855-262-7735 use our contact form. Get your free legal consultation today with the Appel Law Firm LLP.