How to Identify and Report Elder Abuse

elder abuse lawyer Bay Area attorneyElder Abuse is a Serious Crime, Know When to Contact an Attorney

Support for the elderly may come in many forms. If they are living in private homes, it’s usually the family member, a resident nurse, or a professional caregiver. If in a nursing home, they will be cared for by staff, nurses, and doctors.

In some very unfortunate circumstances, elder abuse may occur at some of these facilities or even by friends or family. But how does one detect the signs of elderly abuse, and how can one get help from an elder abuse lawyer?

The National Center on Elder Abuse states that elderly people are reluctant to report abuse due to the following reasons:

  • Lack of cognitive and/or physical ability
  • Fear that the caregiver will get into trouble
  • Fear of retaliation

The chances of abuse going unreported increases if the primary caretaker is a family member.

Professional caregivers, elderly home staff, and medical professionals have a moral obligation and are legally bound by law to take care of elderly patients. But what constitutes abuse?

Elder Abuse Signs

In general, elder abuse is defined as any type of maltreatment which results in bodily harm, injuries or loss to an older individual. It could be psychological abuse, neglect, financial exploitation, domestic violence, sexual abuse, etc. The key thing to remember is that each form of abuse has its own unique indicators and signs.

Physical Abuse: Defined as inflicting pain or bodily injury resulting in impairment. Check for any signs of scratches, cuts, bruises, broken bones or head trauma. A history of repeated injury is one indication of elder abuse as well. Physical marks should be taken seriously and not dismissed immediately. It is very important to contact an elder abuse attorney.

Psychological Abuse: Elders who are unusually scared or afraid of a certain staff, family member or caregiver could be suffering from psychological abuse. They may act out in ways that are hard to understand and are disconnected from family and friends.

Neglect: This can range from failing to provide medical care, wash clothing and prepare bedding. Signs of negligence include dehydration, bedsores, mismanaged medication and prescriptions, unsanitary living conditions and malnutrition.

Financial Exploitation: This is the hardest to detect. Signs of financial exploitation include missing checks, debit or credit cards, failure to pay for medical care treatment, having insufficient funds and failing to make payments on time. Family members are usually the culprit of financial exploitation.

Our San Jose Elder Abuse Attorneys Can Help

The best way to fight elder abuse is by consulting with a Bay Area attorney who has experience with elderly abuse cases. All those involved in caring for an elderly person will have the power and the responsibility of filing an elder abuse report if he or she believes that there are clear signs indicating abuse. Caregivers, hospital staff, home care staff, doctors, nurses and medical professionals are legally and morally bound by law to report it as stated in the Elder Justice Act of 2010. If you believe any form of abuse is occurring, do not hesitate to contact The Law Office of Farling, Hecht & Davis, LLP. Contact us online today via our contact form, or by phone at (408) 295-6100.