Elder Abuse Attorneys in Sacramento
Bringing Those Who Exploit the Elderly to Justice
When aging leads to health conditions that require specialized or continuous care, elderly individuals may turn to family, hire caretakers, or choose to enter an assisted living facility so they can receive the help they need. Sometimes, those entrusted with their care take advantage. It can be difficult to see a way out of this situation.
Abusers who are also caretakers often hold this status over their targets’ heads, threatening to retaliate if they tell anyone. They may insist the individual has no other options to receive the help they need, meaning they have no way out of the abusive situation.
These tactics are common to abusers of all sorts as a way to maintain control. We are here to help you push back against anyone who is mistreating you in this way. If you have been abused by a caregiver, you are likely eligible to file a personal injury lawsuit. The legal process can help you recover compensation for your injuries as well as emotional damages.
Additionally, you can hold your abuser accountable for the way they have treated you. If they are also acting as a caregiver to others, your claim may free them from an abusive situation as well. Anyone who has been wronged by an abusive caregiver deserves the chance for justice. We’re here to help you find it.
What Is Elder Abuse?
Elder abuse is any physical or emotional mistreatment of someone who is 60 or older. It can be as simple as a pattern of making harmful comments meant to cut into their self-esteem or as serious as sexual assault or stealing thousands of dollars.
Types of Elder Abuse
You may be able to file a claim if you or a loved one is facing:
- Emotional abuse
- Financial abuse
- Physical abuse
- Sexual abuse
Abusers often try to keep their actions hidden by targeting those who are most vulnerable and least likely to be listened to were they to speak out. At Kershaw Talley Barlow, we take every abuse claim seriously. We can launch a full investigation into your case to search for evidence even if your abuser tries to deny the claims or discredit you.
Nursing Home and Assisted Living Facility Abuse
Elders in assisted living facilities are among the most vulnerable to abuse because they tend to need more aid and care than those who still live at home. They are also in highly controlled environments where the potential for retaliation is clear and abusers can cut them off from those they might turn to for help.
Patient neglect and abuse are far too common; one study found over 50% of nursing home staffers admitted to mistreating or neglecting a patient at least once within the past year.
Examples of Caregiver Abuse
Skilled nursing home or caregiver abuse can include:
- Failure to provide healthy or sufficient food
- Failure to provide sufficient water
- Failure to care for daily personal hygiene
- Failure to provide early and effective medical treatment
- Isolation or confinement of an elderly patient
- Unnecessary sedation
- Physical or verbal abuse
- Sexual assault
Because nursing home residents are likely to have serious health conditions, abuse and neglect can lead to severe and life-threatening complications.
What Are the Signs of Nursing Home Abuse?
Nursing home patients who are neglected or abused may be hospitalized with:
- Deep bedsores
- Severe dehydration
- And other similar avoidable injuries
Who Can Perpetrate Elder Abuse?
Though abusers typically have some position of power over their targets, this is not always the case. In nursing homes and residential care facilities, sexual abuse perpetrators may be staff, co-residents, or family members.
Dementia can make patients incapable of regulating their moods and often leads to inappropriate sexual comments and actions, so it is often cited as a cause of resident-on-resident abuse. However, a government report found at least 700 registered sex offenders in nursing homes in 2005—a number its authors admitted was likely low.
Nursing homes may also house those who are violent and/or have criminal histories. These individuals may be more likely to harm other patients. Nurses are responsible for always providing oversight to prevent abuse, but especially in cases where a patient is known to be harmful, leaving them alone with others is blatantly negligent.
Elders in-home care, by contrast, are often completely alone with a caregiver. Whether a family member or hired aide, those we trust to help our elderly relatives may harm them out of malice or resentment.
Vetting does not always catch these threats beforehand, so families should check in with loved ones when their caregiver is not around and stay vigilant for any signs of abuse.
What Elder Abuse Looks Like
Unfortunately, nursing home or caregiver neglect may be difficult to recognize when elderly patients have trouble communicating as a result of dementia or confusion. Even patients who have no mental barriers to reporting may choose not to because they feel ashamed or fear retaliation.
It’s, therefore, a good idea for family members to regularly look for signs of abuse, such as:
- Depression or confusion
- Difficulty sleeping
- Unexplained weight loss
- Unusual agitation or violence
- Withdrawal from social situations or former hobbies
- Unexplained injuries (bruises, burns, bedsores, scars)
- Lack of hygiene (unwashed hair, dirty clothes, etc.)
Even when you can see the signs of abuse, your loved one may not want to discuss the problem. However, you can refer your suspicions to our state government’s Department of Aging or Adult Protective Services (APS) agency, speak with a Long-Term Care Ombudsman, or contact our team for help.
Do You Suspect Elder Abuse or Neglect?
Even if you don’t have hard evidence, government agencies investigate all reports of suspected elder abuse, so there’s no need to wait for proof. Any delay could cause your loved ones and other elders to suffer more at the hands of an abuser.
Whether you report to our attorneys, government agencies, or your Ombudsman, you can share your concerns confidentially. If you work with elders or disabled individuals and suspect abuse, you are likely a mandated reporter, meaning you could be fined if you overlook potential abuse or neglect. You can visit the APS site linked above to learn more.
Contact a Sacramento Elder Abuse Lawyer
The best way to prevent the neglect and abuse of vulnerable elders is ensuring the facilities and individuals who victimize them are held responsible for their actions. The attorneys at Kershaw Talley Barlow have experience representing the elderly, dependent adults and their families in cases of abuse and neglect.
We can help investigate your claim, take legal action against the perpetrators, and improve the quality of life for those who have been injured or exploited by abusers. We know how much courage it takes to even consider coming forward with an abuse claim and are proud to stand by those who take this difficult step.
Abuse is never deserved, and no one should have to deal with it. Our team offers free and confidential consultations for elder abuse survivors and their loved ones. If you are ready to make a change, our team wants to support you however we can.
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