Articles Tagged with elder abuse

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.

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.

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.