Although statistics tell us that as many as 1 in 10 elderly people suffer elder abuse at the hands of another, very few elder abuse victims bring elder abuse lawsuits against their abusers and their employers. There are many reasons for this, but one significant obstacle to bringing elder abuse lawsuits is that elder abuse victims often feel helpless, like no one will believe them, that they will face even more abuse if they report, or that no one will assist in protecting them. Some may even not be aware that what they are experiencing is abuse or that they have legal recourse. Thus, the responsibility of noticing elder abuse and taking action to stop it and win recovery often falls to family members and friends. Below are a few signs and symptoms of elder abuse that you should be on your radar with regard to an elderly family member or friend.
Signs an Elderly Person is Being Physically or Mentally Abused
California’s elder abuse laws give victims who have experienced physical, sexual, or mental abuse at the hands of caretakers and nursing home employees the right to pursue financial recovery. Although elderly people often suffer various types of illnesses and maladies simply due to old age and other non-abuse issues, the following may be signs of physical abuse:
- Unexplained bruises and lacerations
- Burns on skin
- Abrasions from unnecessary restraints
Even where there is no physical abuse, an elderly person can bring a claim for mental abuse such as ongoing harassment, ridicule, threatening behavior, or yelling. While these actions may not leave a physical mark, signs that mental abuse might be occurring include:
- Fear of employees or caretakers
- Unexplained depression or refusal to speak
- Self-imposed isolation from other residents (i.e. not wanting to leave room)
- Child-like behavior such as speaking in unusual voices, talking to oneself, thumb-sucking, repeated physical movements, etc.
Signs an Elderly Person is Being Neglected or Receiving Improper Care
Although mental, physical, and emotional abuse all involve acts taken by caretakers and nursing home staff, an elderly person may bring a claim for elder abuse if he or she is being neglected by a caretaker or nursing home that has undertaken the duty to provide care, or if improper care is given. Signs of neglect that might form the basis of an elder abuse lawsuit in California include:
- Infestation of a room by insects, mold, or other toxic materials
- A lack of clean clothes or failure to change clothes
- Malnutrition and weight loss
- Lack of necessities in room including clean linens, bedding, and toiletries
- A request for supplies and/or food made to you
- Bedsores from not having been monitored and/or moved
Work With a Claremont Elder Abuse Attorney
As the founder of The Law Offices of Farris Ain, APC, in Claremont, California, I make it my personal mission to obtain justice for my clients who have suffered elder abuse and their families. If you believe that you or a family member has experienced elder abuse in the form of physical abuse, mental abuse, financial abuse, sexual abuse, or neglect in California, I am here to listen to your concerns and determine what I can do on your behalf. Contact me today to schedule a free, confidential, no-hassle consultation regarding your potential California elder abuse claim.