Menu
F
r
e
e

C
o
n
s
u
l
t
a
t
i
o
n

Protecting Loved Ones from Elder Abuse

On behalf of The Law Offices of Howard Kornberg Posted in

According to the California Attorney General’s office, more than 200,000 Californians over the age of 65 are subjected to elder abuse each year – and the problem is not expected to get better any time soon.

With a population of 3.7 million elderly, California already has the largest number of elderly residents in the nation. This number is expected to double in the next 20 years. As the baby boomer population enters their golden years, the number of people who need assistance from family members and long term care facilities is going to increase and, with it, the incidence of elder abuse.

State and federal law provide important rights and protections to those living in nursing homes and other care facilities, including independent living facilities and skilled nursing facilities, who may be subjected to abuse. The law also imposes civil and criminal penalties on those who physically, emotionally, and financially harm elders. Attorneys fees may be recovered as part of your damages.

However, the law does little good if no one reports the crime. In fact, it is estimated that for every case of reported elder abuse, five more go unreported. This is why it is so important for friends, family, health care professionals, and others to understand what elder abuse is, recognize the warning signs and report suspected cases to the proper authorities.

WHAT IS ELDER ABUSE?

Under California law, elder abuse is defined as the mistreatment of either a person 65 years or older or a dependent adult with mental and/or physical limitations living in a home or institution.

Elder abuse can take many forms, including:

  • Physical harm: Physical injury, assault, sexual abuse, rape, unlawful physical restraint, over-medication, food, and water deprivation
  • Emotional harm: Threats, yelling, belittling, name-calling, intimidation, verbal assault, confinement, isolation
  • Neglect: Failure to assist with personal hygiene, provide nourishment, shelter, medical care; failure to protect from harm
  • Financial exploitation: Theft, check forgery, financial manipulation, illegal gifts under wills and trusts, illegal transfers of powers of attorney

WHAT ARE THE WARNING SIGNS OF ELDER ABUSE?

While it may not always be easy for a loved one to tell whether a family member has been the victim of elder abuse, there are some tell-tale signs that may indicate abuse has occurred. These signs include:

  • Unexplained bruising, scratches, lacerations, burns, broken bones
  • Bedsores that fail to heal
  • Poor hygiene, unclean appearance, matted hair
  • Dirty, bloody, and/or ripped clothing, bedding
  • Restraint marks on arms, legs, wrists, and/or ankles
  • Confused, forgetful
  • Agitated, angry
  • Depression
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Secretive behavior
  • Unusual bank activity, change in spending habits

Family members also may have cause for concern if they are unable to meet with their loved one at a nursing home or other facility without a caregiver present. This may be an indication that the caregiver is trying to isolate the elder and does not want to leave the family alone with him or her.

WHAT SHOULD YOU DO IF YOU SUSPECT ABUSE?

If an individual reasonably believes a resident of a senior living facility is being abused, he or she should report the suspected abuse to the local Long-Term Care Ombudsman, the local police department, or the Bureau of Medi-Cal Fraud and Elder Abuse. In all other suspected cases of elder abuse, an individual should report their suspicions to the local county Adult Protective Services unit or the local police department.

In California, anyone who provides care to an elder or a dependent adult, regardless of whether that individual is paid for his or her services, is required by law to report suspected elder abuse. Those who fail to report the abuse may have to pay up to a $1000 fine, spend up to six months in jail, or both. The penalties increase if the elder or dependent adult is severally injured or dies as a result of the abuse.

Under California state law and federal law, residents of long-term care facilities have the right to be free from verbal, physical, sexual, and mental abuse as well as corporal punishment, neglect, and isolation.

If a caregiver has harmed you or a loved one physically, emotionally, or financially, you have important legal options available to you, including the right to seek civil damages. For more information on your legal rights, contact an experienced elder law attorney today.

Arrow Prev Prev Next Arrow Next
T

Tristan Crown

Howard Kornberg has been helping injured victims for over 35 years in
Read more
J

John Dittrich

Howard's Law Office is undoubtedly the go-to place in Los Angeles for
Read more
R

Robben Sprague

Howard Kornberg and his team were utterly amazing from start to finish
Read more
M

Max Schafer

Excellent experience! Howard and his team are smart, competent, honest
Read more
f

flerida hernandez

The Law Offices of Howard Kornberg were highly recommend by someone I
Read more
T

Terri Barlow

Despite having to to deal with multiple family members and the death o
Read more
M

Marina Salazar

What a great!! experience I had with the Law Offices of Howard Kornber
Read more
P

Pamela LLJUBO

Working with Howard Kornberg and his associates is like having an exte
Read more
E

E.J. Fortenberry

Mr Kornberg represented me very well in my case resulting in an outsta
Read more
A

Anna Stovitz

Howard Kornberg did an impeccable job in representing me in my trial.
Read more
A

Aviv Brawer-Cohen

Mr Kornberg and his staff are truly outstanding. Their diligent and ho
Read more
A

Alex Saavedra

The people that work here are honest and straight up, Ana and Robert w
Read more
T

Tristan Crown

Howard Kornberg has been helping injured victims for over 35 years in
Read more
J

Josie Cruz

I took my "car accident" case to Mr. Kornberg for review. I had been t
Read more
J

Jack Stovitz

Howard is an amazing lawyer who gets the job done. He's a great guy, h
Read more
M

Melissa Schoenfeld

My experience with this office and Mr. Kornberg was everything I could
Read more
H

HugznKisses De La Torre

Howard is a great person to work with and his integrity is unquestione
Read more
M

Max Lasser

Howard is a phenomenal, exemplary, kind lawyer who will fight for you
Read more
C

Charlie Shanes

I needed a good personal injury lawyer, I was injured in a car acciden
Read more
R

Robert Leovy

Does great work and will go out of his way to ensure you get what you
Read more
j

john nguyen

Friendly people, very professional, very detail oriented, and he will
Read more
R

R D

HCK and staff are amazing!!
Read more
C

Connie Kay

Positive: Responsiveness
Read more
A

Alfonso Gonzalex

Positive: Professionalism, Quality, Responsiveness
Read more