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Is Your Elderly Loved One in Jeopardy?
Our Modesto Elder Abuse Attorneys Can Protect Victims of Physical Elder Abuse
When you place a friend, grandparent, parent or family member in an assisted-living facility, the last thing you expect your loved one to endure is neglect or abuse. Unfortunately, unscrupulous people working in these facilities may take advantage of someone you love. If you believe your loved one is a victim of negligence or physical elder abuse in a nursing home, then you should take action. Contact one of our Modesto elder abuse attorneys – we can investigate the details, and hold the negligent parties accountable for his or her injuries.
What Is the Definition of Elder Abuse?
According to the violence prevention resources from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), elder abuse is defined as “an intentional act, or failure to act, by a caregiver or another person in a relationship involving expectations of trust that causes or creates a risk of harm to an older adult.” In general, elder abuse and neglect can be physical, emotional and/or financial. If you need help recognizing physical elder abuse, then here are some warning signs to consider:
- Weight Loss: Losing weight is dangerous for our seniors. After visiting your elderly loved ones, if you notice weight loss, then ask questions. Weight loss can be a sign of a multitude of problems at the facility and possible negligence.
- Dehydration: Maintaining a proper diet is important in a person’s twilight years. A big part of this healthy diet involves proper hydration. You should investigate immediately if you notice that an elderly individual has signs of dehydration, such as dry skin, rapid breathing, sunken eyes and other symptoms.
- Frequent Falls: If your loved one experiences frequent falls, then their healthcare provider may be negligent. For example, they may have failed to enact fall prevention in their facilities.
- Medication Issues: Purposefully administering too little or too much medication is a form of elder abuse. If you or your loved one has suspicions about the administration of his or her medicine at a nursing home facility, then it is recommended that you seek the help of qualified Modesto elder abuse attorneys.
- Refusing Alone Time: The best way to investigate elder abuse is to see the senior in person. However, if nursing home staff refuse to let you visit a senior alone, then this is cause for concern.
- Welts, Bruising and/or Bed Sores: If you see a senior with welts, bed sores, unexplained cuts, bruising or other marks, then there is a good chance that they are being neglected. It might be that the assigned caretaker is neglecting him or her and suffering injuries as a result of lack of supervision or failing to move a patient in their bed. In extreme cases, it could be that the caretaker is causing intentional harm, including physically abusing the senior as a cruel form of discipline.
- Broken Bones and/or Fractures: While elderly people are more fragile, a broken bone can still be a red flag for elder abuse. All health care professionals are expected to provide a professional level of care. If there are a multitude of fractures and broken bones amongst the nursing home population, then this could be a sign that this level of care might not be at a legal standard.
What Laws Protect the Elderly From Abuse in California?
Since each situation is unique and presents its own set of challenges, the best way to protect your loved ones is to contact one of our Modesto elder abuse attorneys. Our firm will use every legal option available to us that can strengthen your claim. However, in the interim, if you have suspicions that your loved one is being abused, then it is good to know some common laws that can protect them.
In California, multiple assembly and Senate bills have been passed that aim to prevent elder abuse in nursing homes and in-home care, including:
- AB-937: Passed in 2013, this law prohibits a caretaker from denying an elder various personal rights. For example, denying the elderly person his or her right to receive and send mail, phone calls and/or to have visitors.
- AB-2171: This 2014 bill establishes specific rights for residents of privately-operated residential facilities for the elderly. In general, this law states that an elderly person must be treated with dignity in their personal relationships with staff and be granted a reasonable level of privacy.
- SB-1911: In 2018, this Senate bill established that it is a crime to abuse the elderly. In addition, this bill defines certain actions as criminal elder abuse, such as isolating a senior.
Do You Have Elder Law Questions?
Are you concerned about a nursing home facility’s level of care after noticing red flags during your visit? Our elderly loved ones are some of the nation’s most vulnerable people. Taking advantage of them is not just against the law, it is unethical. If you believe your elderly loved one is being physically abused, a Modesto elder abuse lawyer from our firm can help.
Contact Us Today for a Free Consultation
At Swingle, Van Egmond & Heitlinger, we believe in helping seniors who may be in jeopardy. We understand the emotional trauma of placing a loved one in a facility only to discover that the professionals you trusted neglected or abused your loved one. Contact a Modesto elder abuse attorney from our firm today for a free case evaluation. Our firm can help you find another facility where your loved one can recover from his or her injuries. Afterward, when your loved one’s health is no longer in question, we can help you file a claim against the caretaker or individual responsible for their condition.
We understand how difficult this time can be. At Swingle, Van Egmond & Heitlinger, your initial consultation is always free and confidential. Our legal team is adaptive and accommodating regardless of the circumstances of your case. Contact us online or call our Modesto law firm today at (209) 340-1110 to schedule your free consultation.
“This firm exemplifies how a multi-faceted group of attorneys can work together to achieve positive results.”- James M.
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