How to Recognize Elder Abuse

Author: Mesriani Law Group
Posted on: September 25, 2020

Elder adults deserve to be treated with kindness and respect. But in Los Angeles, thousands of elder adults are neglected, abused, and exploited each year. Sadly, elder abuse is often underreported or ignored by care facilities. No one should have to experience any type of abuse, but especially adults who are at their most vulnerable stage in life.

Recognizing elder abuse is one of the first steps to obtaining justice. Some common indicators of mistreatment of elder or dependent adults to look for include:

Physical Abuse

Physical abuse is defined as the infliction of physical suffering or pain. This includes rape, assault, and physical restraints. The use of prescription drugs to control or punish an elderly adult is also considered physical abuse.

Psychological Abuse  

Intimidating, threatening, demeaning, victim-blaming, and other related behaviors can be considered psychological abuse. Mental abuse is considered one of the most prevalent types of elder mistreatment.

Financial Abuse

Financial abuse is the illegal or unethical use of an elder adult’s cash, assets, funds, or property. The penalty for financial abuse when the value of the fraud exceeds $950 is one year in county prison or up to four years in state prison. Additionally, there can be a fine of up to $1,000.

Abandonment

Abandonment is defined as the desertion of an elderly adult by a caregiver. Abandonment can happen only once or be reoccurring. Some common examples include an elder adult claiming they have been left in an unknown place, a caregiver claiming not knowing of an elder adult’s whereabouts or the death of an elder adult without much explanation.

Abduction

Under state law, abduction is defined as the forcible removal of an elderly adult from California. The removal can be from home or a long-term care facility. Restraining an elder adult from returning to California can also be considered abduction.

Neglect

Neglect of an elderly adult is the failure to provide proper care including attire, water, food, medications, and maintaining proper hygiene. Failure to protect from health and safety hazards is also considered neglect.

A common example of neglect happens in nursing homes where adequate care is not provided. As a result, residents can suffer from bedsores. Also known as decubitus ulcers, bedsores are skin injuries that result from the pressure of prolonged body weight pressed against the skin.

Isolation

Preventing an elder adult from communicating with others is considered a form of isolation.  Examples include preventing them from contacting friends and family or confining them to a home. In a long-term care facility or nursing home, telling a visitor that an elder adult is not present or doesn’t want to talk to the visitor when the statement is false can also be considered isolation.  

Consult with an Elder Abuse Attorney Today

If you feel an elder adult has been abused, don’t hesitate to seek help immediately. An experienced elder abuse lawyer will have the knowledge, experience, and compassion to help you obtain justice. Contact Mesriani Law Group today to see how we can help you with your possible case.