Articles Posted in Elder Abuse

jeremy-wong-298986-copy-300x200A California woman and her daughter were recently charged with financial elder abuse for coercing the woman’s long time boyfriend into signing away the deed to his residence when he clearly lacked the capacity to do so. The two women are also alleged to have forged medical documents in order to facilitate the transfer of the property. Unfortunately, circumstances like this are not rare. In fact, a majority of financial elder abuse is committed by individuals known to the victim, such as family members. If you have been victimized by a loved one or suspect that someone you know is being victimized by financial elder abuse, contact the elder law attorneys at Willoughby Brod today to learn how we can help.

What is Financial Elder Abuse?

Financial elder abuse is a type of elder abuse that involves the misappropriation of funds. Sadly, the majority of financial elder abusers are family, friends, and acquaintances of the victim. While elderly individuals with alzheimer’s and dementia are at a particularly high risk, any unsuspecting elderly individual can fall prey to financial elder abuse.

jeremy-wong-298986-copy-300x200While elder physical abuse is typically easy to spot, as you notice bruises and scratches on your elderly loved one’s body, emotional abuse, or psychological abuse, can be more difficult to detect. In California, any type of elder abuse, including emotional or psychological abuse, is illegal and punishable under the law. If you suspect a loved one has been the victim of emotional or psychological elder abuse, contact the attorneys at Willoughby Brod today to help your loved ones seek justice and obtain the compensation they deserve.

What is Emotional Elder Abuse?

Emotional, or psychological elder abuse is similar to domestic abuse that an individual may experience in a bad relationship with their significant other or even with their parent or sibling. It often takes place in nursing homes by nursing home staff and caretakers, but it can also take place in the elderly individual’s home by his or her own family members. A person who is found to have committed elder abuse can be charged with a felony, which can result in two to four years of state prison time, or a misdemeanor, which can result in up to one year in county jail and thousands of dollars in fines, depending on the person’s background and history.

jeremy-wong-298986-copy-300x200If you suspect that your elderly parent or family member is being abused, whether physically, financially, or emotionally, you will likely want to report the abuse and seek justice. However, in some instances, you may be required under California law to report elder abuse you witness even when you otherwise would not have done so. In those circumstances, reporting elder abuse in California is not just the right thing to do, it is the law. If you have any doubts about whether you are required to report elder abuse you witnessed or how to pursue a claim, it is best to seek professional advice. The elder abuse attorneys at Willoughby Brod have advised numerous clients on reporting elder abuse and can help you, too.

Who can Commit Elder Abuse?

Any caretaker of an elderly individual is capable of committing elder abuse. It could be a nursing home caretaker, a financial planner, or even a family member. Oftentimes, elderly individuals who are abused at the hands of family members are never granted justice because they least expect abuse from someone close to them, and even if other family members detect the abuse, they are hesitant to report it for fear of stirring the pot.

christian-langballe-78684-copy-300x200When most people think of elder abuse, they think of physical abuse. While physical abuse of elders is common, financial elder abuse is actually the most common and is steadily on the rise. In California, there are laws against all types of elder abuse, including financial elder abuse. If you suspect a loved one has been the victim of financial elder abuse, contact the attorneys at Willoughby Brod today to help your loved ones seek justice and obtain the compensation they deserve.

What is Financial Elder Abuse?

Financial elder abuse, also known as senior fraud, is when an elderly individual’s money, assets or property are mismanaged, stolen, or obtained by coercive and fraudulent means. A person who is found to have committed elder abuse can be charged with a felony, which can result in two to four years of state prison time, or a misdemeanor, which can result in up to one year in county jail and thousands of dollars in fines, depending on the person’s background and history.

jeremy-wong-298986-copy-300x200Physical abuse of elders in nursing homes that results in bruises, scratches, burns, or other visible injuries is easy to spot, but there are a number of other injuries that the elderly can suffer in nursing homes that can easily go unnoticed. In California, elder abuse is illegal and can result in both civil and criminal charges. Below is a list of more subtle signs of elder abuse and how you can spot them in your loved ones. If you believe your loved one has been a victim of elder abuse, call the personal injury attorneys at The Brod Law Firm today to find out how we can help.

Elder Neglect

Elder neglect constitutes nearly half of reported elder abuse cases. Whether intentional or unintentional, elder neglect occurs when nursing home staff fails to care for residents as the law mandates. This can include failure to regularly change the resident’s bed sheets, failure to assist the resident in maintaining their personal hygiene, failure to fix maintenance problems in the residents’ rooms, failure to provide meals to the residents, or a variety of other failures to comply with their duties of care as nursing home staff.

jeremy-wong-298986-copy-300x200Title 22 specifies the standards according to which California nursing homes must adhere. Many of the standards aim to preserve the patient’s level of health and independence, even when it means more work for the nursing home staff. For example, it stipulates that patients must get enough exercise to preserve their mobility.  In practice, this means that nursing home staff should provide walking assistance to patients who can walk with assistance rather than transporting them in wheelchairs. Likewise, it prohibits feeding tubes for patients who are capable of oral feeding, even if they require assistance with feeding. In general, it requires nursing homes to provide patients with the kind of health maintenance care that it would be difficult for them to get outside the nursing home. Therefore, when a nursing home unjustly evicts a patient, and the patient loses the state of health that she had been able to maintain while living at the nursing home, it could be a case of elder abuse. This issue is at the center of a lawsuit currently being argued in California courts.

Details of the Case

A nursing home in Sacramento, California sent a patient to the hospital for a psychological evaluation after she reportedly began behaving aggressively at dinner and throwing table utensils. Physicians at the hospital examined the patient and determined that she was fit to return to the nursing home; in fact, they did not find anything wrong with her. They sent her back to the nursing home, but it refused to re-admit her. According to California law, nursing homes are required to reserve a patient’s bed for seven days when a patient is hospitalized. Likewise, the nursing home did not give her advance notice before she went to the hospital that they would not let her back in when she returned, which is also a violation of the rules.

jeremy-wong-298986-copy-300x200San Diego has become well-known around the country for being a safe and family-friendly city. The area has been enjoying a decreasing crime rate in recent years. However, San Diego County District Attorney Summer Stephan says the work is not finished. Stephen’s office is focusing on reducing incidents of elder abuse, recognizing it when it happens, properly investigating it, and prosecuting it when necessary.

San Diego County’s “Blueprint”

In March, the county D.A.’s office launched an initiative against elder abuse, which has been on the rise in the previous five years. The D.A.’s office has compiled information and tools that they are referring to as a “blueprint” designed to help key professionals identify elder abuse and effectively question those affected by it, including seniors who may be suffering from dementia.

cristian-newman-63291-199x300Another wrongful death lawsuit has been brought against Brius Healthcare Services for the negligent care provided at its Granada Rehabilitation & Wellness Center. The suit alleges that an elderly patient, Jeanette Sharp, died after the staff at Granada allowed a significant amount of fecal matter to build up in her colon. According to reports, physicians removed up to four liters of fecal matter, some of which was spilling into the patient’s abdominal cavity and had reach the exit of Sharp’s stomach. By the time the patient received surgical intervention on April 4, 2017, the situation was dire. Sharp passed away the same day of the procedure.

Granada Staff Allegedly Provided Negligent Care

The lawsuit filed against Brius Healthcare Services states that the staff at Granada failed to monitor Sharp’s bowel movements. Sharp had dementia and was likely unable to self-monitor. Over an extended period of time without bowel movements, the fecal matter accumulated and filled Sharp’s digestive system.

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.