Elder Abuse and Neglect in Nursing Homes and Assisted Living Facilities
Our San Jose Elder Abuse Attorneys Can Help Protect Your Loved One
When faced with nursing home/assisted living abuse or neglect, you need a legal team that provides you with knowledge, care and efficiency. Needham Kepner & Fish LLP has a long history of representing victims of elder abuse and neglect in the Bay Area. Our San Jose elder abuse attorneys help our clients hold negligent nursing homes and assisted living facilities financially responsible. We may be able to help you recover compensation for your losses, too.
What Is Elder Abuse in California?
In California, elder abuse encompasses many types of abuse, neglect and exploitation toward anyone 65 years of age or older or a dependent adult. Types of elder abuse may include:
- Physical abuse
- Psychological abuse
- Neglect and endangerment
- Sexual abuse
- Financial abuse
What Are Common Signs of Elder Abuse and Neglect?
Stay alert for the signs of nursing home abuse and neglect when visiting your loved one. You can look for signs within your loved one’s facility. Indications of a facility where elder abuse and/or neglect exists may include, but are not limited to:
- High turnover in staff
- Insufficient supervision of residents
- Insufficient response time
- Poor security
You should also look for physical signs on your loved one. Common signs of elder abuse or elder neglect may include, but are not limited to:
- New and unexplained injuries. Injuries may include bruises, scrapes or burns. Scrapes on the hands, wrists, thighs or ankles can be a sign of forceful restraint or sexual abuse. Falls in nursing homes can cause blunt force trauma, resulting in broken bones or lacerations.
- Bedsores. Pressure sores located on the tailbone, shoulders, hips or heels are a common sign of neglect. Nursing homes and assisted living facilities are responsible for providing adequate turning and repositioning for each of their residents.
- Malnourishment. Signs of fluctuation in weight or dehydration could be a sign of the withholding of food and drink. These changes could be medical, but they could also indicate abuse and/or neglect.
- Decline in hygiene. Dirty or unwashed clothes, soiled diapers, and a lack of bathing are indicators of neglect. If your loved one seems unbathed or unclean, then he or she may be at risk of further infection and disease.
Emotional changes in your loved one may also suggest abuse or neglect. These signs may include, but are not limited to:
- Emotional stress. Elders in an abusive or neglectful situation can become reclusive, even toward their trusted loved ones. Other forms of emotional stress can include change of temperament or change in social habits.
- Arguments or tension between elderly and caregiver. If your loved one suddenly begins acting disagreeable around the caregivers or facility staff, then this could be a sign of nursing home neglect and/or abuse.
Signs of elder abuse vary depending on the type of abuse or neglect. Learn more warning signs here:
What Can I Do If I Suspect Nursing Home Neglect and/or Abuse?
Elder abuse and/or neglect can lead to avoidable illnesses, injury or even wrongful death. Your loved one may be helpless to seek action in this situation. It may fall to you to seek justice for your loved one.
Take action if you have reason to believe that your loved one is experiencing elder neglect and/or abuse in his or her nursing home or assisted living facility. If you believe your loved one is in immediate danger, call 9-1-1. If your loved one is not in immediate danger, you should gather evidence and report the suspected conduct immediately.
Be diligent in recording any signs of suspected abuse or neglect. You should keep photos and documentation of:
- Medical reports
- Records of conversations with other residents or staff
- Anything that you believe demonstrates a violation of the proper standard of care
Our San Jose elder abuse lawyers have also outlined further steps to take if you suspect elder abuse or neglect:
How Can an Elder Abuse Attorney Help Me?
California elder abuse laws allow victims to file civil lawsuits for damages against their abusers. An elder abuse attorney can investigate for signs of neglect and/or abuse. Your attorney can also gather and evaluate crucial evidence, helping you build a solid case against whoever is abusing you or your loved one. Then, your attorney may be able to help you hold the nursing home or assisted living facility accountable.
It is important to contact an attorney as soon as possible if you suspect abuse or neglect. We can help you understand your legal options based on the unique circumstances surrounding your situation.
Talk to Our San Jose Elder Abuse Lawyers About Your Case
We are available for weekend and evening meetings. Needham Kepner & Fish LLP also works with Stebner and Associates to protect the rights of the elderly in the San Francisco Bay Area.