Articles Tagged with elder abuse

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

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%.

christian-langballe-78684-copy-300x200The day may come when you have to help your elderly parents move into a nursing home. You may have struggled against this decision for quite some time, or your mom or dad may have resisted the idea of losing his or her independence. However, at a certain point, it becomes clear a professional health care facility is the best place for your elderly loved ones to receive the medical care and attention he or she truly needs. As a child, grandchild, or close friend, you can do a great deal to help your loved one make this difficult transition.

Ways to Help Your Loved One Transition to a Nursing Home

If your elderly loved one has made the decision to move into a nursing home or you have had to make this decision on his or her behalf, take these steps to try and smooth the transition:

freestocks-org-126848-copy-300x200Whether or not a terminally ill individual should have the right to decide when he or she dies is a vehemently contested issue. Throughout most of the U.S., physician-assisted suicide is illegal. If it goes on, it is not talked about or done within the eyes of the law. Only six states have some form of legalized physician-assisted suicide, including Colorado, Oregon, Washington, Vermont, California, and the District of Columbia. However, California’s current law is up for debate with a new legal challenge.

California’s Current Law

California’s current physician-assisted suicide law is known as the End of Life Option Act and went into effect in June of 2016. The law enables qualified, terminally ill individuals to ask for and obtain medications that would result in death when they chose to administer them. The law is entirely voluntary for both patients and physicians, and there are safeguards in place to ensure it is not abused.

mark-rabe-240392-copy-300x200Cheryl and Eric Mills were arrested for kidnapping and elder abuse after suddenly removing an elderly relative from a care facility without permission. Police found the Mills and the elderly individual 90 miles away from the care home in Stockton. The 88-year-old victim was not harmed during the incident, but the individual has continuous health concerns and is unable to give consent, according to a detective on the case. Neither of the Mills had permission to remove the individual from the facility and did not have the capability to care for the elderly person as was necessary.

Civil Liability for Elder Abuse

When an elderly individual is abused by a relative, caretaker, or other person and suffers physical, psychological, or financial injuries, he or she has the right to pursue compensation through a personal injury claim. Any person who harms an elderly person can be held civilly liable in court for the economic and non-economic damages associated with the abuse. For instance, if the Mills had harmed their elderly relative during this incident, the individual would have had a cause of action against them.

alvaro-serrano-133360-copy-300x200If you are a devoted grandparent or your elderly mom or dad dotes on your kids, you need to be aware of how this love and affection can be manipulated. Over the years, more and more elderly people have been targeted by what is known as a grandparent scam. In this situation, someone poses as a grandchild to fraudulently obtain money from the elderly person. This ruse can go on for months and cost elderly grandparents hundreds or thousands of dollars, seriously putting their finances at risk. Once the fraud is discovered, there is often little the elderly individual can do to recover. By learning more about this scam and educating your elderly loved ones, you can avoid being the victim of financial elder abuse.

How the Grandparent Scam Works

An individual posing as a grand- or great-grandchild phone, emails, or writes to an elderly person. This individual says they are in some sort of trouble, maybe they were arrested and they need bail or despite working hard, their bills have gotten away from them. Whatever the story, this individual may spin a tale that makes them look in need, yet not at fault for their circumstances. After their sad story is complete, they imply that they could use some help. They may be sold bold as to imply or outright state that if grandma or grandpa sent them some money, they could get themselves back on track. Many elderly grandparents are so distraught to hear their grandkids are in trouble, they are willing to do whatever they can to help. They do not think twice about checking with other family members about their supposed grandchild’s story. Ultimately, grandma or grandpa may end up mailing a check, giving over their credit card or banking information, or purchasing and sending store gift cards.

b3ims-0adiw-frantzou-fleurine-300x140Elder neglect and abuse are a growing concern around the country. As of mid-2014, there were 46.2 million individuals in the U.S. over the age of 65 and by 2060, that number is projected to grow to 98.2 million, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. At that point, almost one in four U.S. residents will be elderly, and 19.7 million of them will be 85 years or older. As our population ages, these individuals become more vulnerable to physical and emotional neglect as well as physical, emotional, and financial abuse. However, there are ways to remain vigilant and prevent seniors from being hurt and taken advantage of. Isolation is one of the consistent signs that elder neglect or abuse is happening.

Who Can Isolate Your Loved One

Isolation can begin as minor changes in your loved one’s life until it becomes so extreme, your elderly family member or friend has little to no contact with others. This isolation can be caused by a family member, romantic partner, caregiver, or anyone who establishes a relationship of trust with your loved one like neighbors. Workers who your loved one sees consistently over time like bank tellers and grocery store clerks can also become overly involved in your loved one’s life and isolate them for financial gain.

freestocks-org-126848-copy-300x200Coumadin and other blood thinners are commonly used by elderly individuals. These individuals are often prescribed this type of medication to reduce the chance of heart attack, stroke, and other major medical events. However, blood thinners are serious medications and patients taking them need to be closely monitored by a physician or nursing home staff. Being on this type of medication when it is unnecessary or taking too much can lead to injuries and fatalities. In fact, ProPublica and The Washington Post found that 165 nursing home residents were hospitalized or died after suffering from Coumadin, or the generic Warfarin, errors between 2011 and 2014. These incidents are preventable when elderly patients are given proper care.

The Dangers of Failing to Monitor Blood Thinners

Coumadin has well-documented benefits. However, when patients are given too much or too little of a blood thinner, they are put at risk for serious health issues and early death. For instance, when patients who are at risk for negative health events are given too low of a dosage or not given their prescribed medication, they remain highly at risk for blood clots, stroke, and heart attack. When elderly individuals are prescribed or unnecessarily given too much of a blood thinner, they can suffer internal bleeding. Warfarin can also dangerously interact with other medications like commonly prescribed antibiotics. If physicians and other nursing home staff are not on the lookout for common medication interactions, then elderly patients are seriously at risk for injuries.

cristian-newman-63291-199x300The care facility formerly known as the Golden Living Center along with its administration and four employees are being sued for negligent hiring and elder abuse. The suit is based on the death of Jeanne Roney, 91. Roney was diagnosed with scabies and then passed away nine days later. Her daughter, Tammy Cook, claims her mother died due to the facility’s negligence, which resulted in her mother falling several times, acquiring scabies and multiple urinary tract infections, and suffering from dehydration and malnutrition. Cook alleges her mother was not properly cared for, eventually acquiring a UTI that could not be treated with oral antibiotics and scabies that were so bad Queen of the Valley Hospital notified the California Department of Public Health about the case.

If your loved one at a care facility is suffering from unnecessary injuries like UTIs, bed sores, or dehydration, contact a San Francisco elder abuse lawyer at Brod Law Firm as soon as possible. An experienced attorney can help you get the proper care for your loved one and determine if he or she has the right to file a suit against negligent caretakers or facilities.

Negligent Hiring