Articles Tagged with california elder abuse lawyer

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.

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-63291-199x300The 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.

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

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

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