Articles Posted in Elder Abuse

cristian-newman-63291-199x300The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that one in four people over the age of 65 years falls each year. Of these falls, one in five leads to a serious injury like a traumatic brain injury or a broken bone. In fact, falling is the most common cause of concussions and more serious traumatic brain injuries. Following these falls, 2.8 million seniors are treated in emergency rooms for injuries and more than 800,000 of these seniors are hospitalized.

Many falls are related to medical conditions and age-related changes. However, they are not always innocent accidents. Seniors face a greater risk of falling when they are the victims of neglect and abuse. If your loved one has suffered one or more falls and you believe it is because of abuse or neglect, contact our experienced San Francisco elder neglect and abuse attorneys at Brod Law Firm immediately. We will thoroughly review your loved one’s situation to advise you on how to get them into a safer situation and their right to seek compensation for their injuries.

Falls Have Tragic Consequences

dan-gold-272398-copy-300x169There are a few habits elderly individuals keep up as long as they can. One of these is heading to the salon or barber to have their hair cut. Many elderly men and women rely on this routine not only to maintain their hygiene and preferred style, but also to maintain their social connections. Many individuals have gone to the same salon or shop for years. Now, with California’s new law, the salon professionals working with these men and women will be in a better position to notice signs of elder abuse and neglect.

California AB 326

In late September, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law AB 326, which requires the State Board of Barbering and Cosmetology (BBC) to develop and adopt a course that covers physical and sexual abuse awareness for all of their licensees by July 1, 2019. Under the new law, physical and sexual abuse includes domestic violence, sexual assault, human trafficking, and elder abuse. This information must be taught in schools approved by the BBC just like other health and safety courses that cover hazardous substances and basic labor laws. This new requirement will impact approximately 550,000 professionals, including barbers, cosmetologists, estheticians, manicurists, and more.

alexandru-tugui-185047-copy-300x200Recent surveillance camera footage is a difficult reminder of how careful elderly individuals need to be when in public. The Burbank, California police have released a video of a young woman waiting behind an elderly woman who was in an electric scooter at a store. Once the elderly woman stood to grab an item off the shelf and was distracted, the younger woman quickly grabbed the purse off the scooter and walked away. The footage shows her leaving the store and then driving away in a white, four-door sedan that appeared to be a Lexus GS.

Police later recovered the elderly woman’s purse near Buena Vista and Vanowen streets, however her ID, money, credit cards, and other items were gone. The credit cards were used later at a Target and Lowes. The Burbank police are still looking for the suspect who could be charged with elder abuse and grand theft.

Elderly Individuals Must Remain Vigilant

christian-langballe-78684-copy-300x200An audit conducted by Daniel Levinson, Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, found that elder abuse and neglect is a significant concern for Medicare beneficiaries and that the Medicare program currently has inadequate procedures to ensure abuse or neglect are identified and reported in accordance with legal requirements.

If you have a loved one living in a nursing home and you believe that he or she is being neglected or abused, contact an experienced San Francisco elder abuse attorney at Brod Law Firm right away. While Medicare mandates that all suspected abuse or neglect of elderly or patients be reported to the police immediately by the facility’s staff, this is often not the case. Many episodes of abuse or neglect go unnoticed and unreported, leaving your and other people’s loved ones in danger.

The Medicare Audit

keilidh-ewan-189124-copy-300x200Certain medical issues become more common with age. It is common for seniors’ eyesight and hearing to decline. These issues can become so severe as to make elderly individuals legally blind or deaf, which can put them at a significant disadvantage when it comes to handling their own financial affairs. When they are not able to hear or see well, seniors may heavily rely on others to help them with simple matters like maintaining their checkbooks, to more complex matters like protecting their retirement assets and buying or selling real estate. While at such a disadvantage, family members, friends, neighbors, and others can take advantage and financially abuse these seniors.

If you believe an elderly parent or loved one is being taken advantage of because they cannot hear or see well to manage their own affairs, contact our experienced San Francisco elder abuse lawyers from Brod Law Firm at (800) 427-7020.

Hearing Loss in Seniors

andres-de-armas-103880-copy-300x200The opioid crisis in the U.S. continues to spread and at this point, few families and individuals are left unscathed. In addition to the deep physical and psychological impact an addiction has on a person, it also has profound effects on that person’s family. This is one of the ways in which the opioid crisis is affecting more and more seniors. While elderly individuals can be addicted to opioid painkillers themselves, they are also often taken advantage of, neglected, and abused by those suffering from this affliction.

If you or an elderly loved one have been physically, emotionally, or financially injured by someone addicted to drugs, contact your local senior social services or law enforcement to ensure you or loved one can get to or create a safe environment. Next, contact an experienced San Francisco elder abuse attorney from Brod Law Firm to learn about your rights.

How Opioid Addiction Lends Itself to Elder Abuse

andres-de-armas-103880-copy-300x200Under the California law, the End of Life Option Act, which went into effect June of 2016, terminally ill patients have the right to request life-ending medications. They must do so in a specific way and endure a waiting period before they can receive the drugs. However, the way the law is set up, physicians and medical facilities do not have to participate. Individual doctors can refuse to offer the medications as an end of life option, while others are prohibited from doing so by their employer’s guidelines.

In addition to the option to not participate in physician-assisted suicide, doctors do not have to warn patients upfront that they do not provide this end of life option or help patients find a physician who will. As was the case with Judy Dale, who was denied life-ending medication. Dale’s family, who watched her suffer while trying to find another physician to help her, is now suing University of California San Francisco (UCSF) Medical Center for fraud and elder abuse.

The Dale Family’s Suit

aidan-bartos-313782-copy-300x200Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) sponsored Senate Bill 81, the Seniors Fraud Prevention Act of 2017. Both senators have spoken out about the need to protect seniors from fraud and scams. From Internet fraud to charity scams and Ponzi schemes, elderly citizens are often targeted. The intention of the Seniors Fraud Prevention Act would require the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to coordinate with other agencies to best monitor for fraud schemes and to distribute information to seniors and their families about how to recognize and report scams.

Seniors Fraud Prevention Act Passes Senate

Without any objection or amendment, the Seniors Fraud Prevention Act passed the Senate on August 2. It was then referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. The companion House Resolution 444, sponsored by Rep. Deutch (D-FL), remains with the House Subcommittee on Digital Commerce and Consumer Protection. It is now up to the House of Representatives to review the bill and determine whether it moves forward and whether it moves toward becoming law as is or with adjustments,

parker-byrd-139348-copy-300x200A new website, Choose Well, is trying to help families in San Diego find safe and quality nursing homes for their loved ones. After seniors lost their lives in negligent assisted-living facilities and a San Diego Union-Tribune investigation uncovered a significant amount of neglect and abuse in area nursing homes, San Diego County decided it was time to do something. This website is the city’s attempt to be more proactive about protecting seniors and helping their families make difficult choices like putting their elderly loved ones into nursing homes.   

San Diego Union-Tribune Investigation

In 2013, an in-depth investigation by San Diego Union-Tribune found that at least 27 seniors had died in San Diego County facilities due to neglect in a five-year period. The investigation found substandard care, neglect, and abuse ran rampant because of poor state oversight and little-to-no public transparency. When residents die due to neglect or abuse, facilities might face an investigation and a minimal fine. However, in many cases, state authorities never investigated. In fact, the Union-Tribune found that in the five-year period, complaints of poor care rose 13%, yet the number of state penalties declined 30%.

milind-kaduskar-87650-copy-300x300Certain areas of the U.S., particularly the west coast and southwest, are known for their high temperatures. Temperatures can stay in the 90s and 100s for weeks or months at a time. Unfortunately, this excessive heat has already led to fatalities this year. Santa Clara County officials confirmed in June that two elderly residents passed away due to hyperthermia, which is the condition of the body’s internal temperature becoming too high and the body being unable to cool itself down.

Elderly individuals, meaning those over the age of 60, are particularly vulnerable to heat-related illnesses and death. As summer fully sets in and California experiences very high temperatures, it is crucial that individuals and facilities take extra precautions to protect seniors from the heat.

Elderly are Particularly Vulnerable to Heat-Related Illnesses and Death