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Horizon Elder Law & Estate Planning Blog

Monday, November 28, 2016

Elder Abuse & In-Home Care: What you need to know

In-home nursing care is often a welcome relief for families looking to avoid the costs of full-time long-term care. Oftentimes, elderly folks need a little help during the day, but are not to the point that round-the-clock skilled nursing assistance is needed. For those families electing in-home care for their loved ones, finding the right individual can be the most difficult component of the arrangement – particularly given the rising instances of abuse and neglect by in-home care providers.

In-home nursing care is typically provided on a contract basis, either with the provider herself or a contracting agency. In a recent exposé published in The Jefferson Journal, one Massachusetts family regaled their unthinkable experience with in-home care. The patient, a 66-year old retired pharmacist with heart and kidney conditions, was allegedly the victim of major theft. Namely, theft of his wife’s valuable jewelry and other trinkets. To make matters worse, the patient’s wife was suffering from the onset of dementia, and would frequently forget important details, making it all the more difficult to relay the information to friends and loved ones. After police finally got involved, it was discovered that the provider had stolen thousands of dollars not only from this patient, but from several others.

We all know that elder abuse is one of the most underreported crimes in the United States – often due to the patient’s failing cognition. Moreover, physical abuse can often present similar to the common pitfalls of aging, such as easy bruising or bone fractures. However, statistics tell us that elder abuse – including financial abuse by caregivers – remains a constant problem, both here in California and elsewhere.

In an egregious California case involving in-home care, a financial advisor actually sent police to a 98-year old woman’s home to conduct a welfare check. It was then that police discovered the woman’s entire home had been ransacked, with artwork and jewelry missing and furniture completely gone. In the end, the woman had been sadly victimized by her in-home caregiver, a nurse contracting with a company out of Northern California. When the woman’s plight was finally discovered, she had been suffering from bedsores due to prolonged confinement to her bed.

Contact an elder law attorney today!

To help ensure loved ones are properly cared for in their Golden Years, please do not hesitate to contact Horizon Elder Law and Estate Planning today: 925-275-5509.


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