925.244.1185
San Ramon, CA

Horizon Elder Law & Estate Planning Blog

Friday, April 12, 2019

What to do if you Suspect Elder Abuse

Elder abuse occurs more often than most people believe. Unfortunately, many elderly adults cannot speak for themselves or are too afraid to report abuse or neglect. Therefore, it may be up to you to speak up if you suspect elder abuse. After reporting elder abuse, meeting with a California elder abuse and neglect attorney can help you learn about your loved one’s legal rights and the steps you need to take next to protect your loved one.

Reporting Elder Abuse in California

If you suspect elder abuse, call 911 if you believe the person is in immediate harm. You may also contact the Adult Protective Services (APS) office for your county. A list of all APS offices can be found online with the local contact number, a 24-hour abuse hotline number, and a link to the county’s APS page.

The APS provides services for adults 65 years of age and older and dependent adults who are disabled. On the APS website, you can download the Report of Suspected Dependent Adult/Elder Abuse and gain more information about the agency’s services for the elderly and disabled.  The California Department of Justice has a guide to preventing and reporting elder abuse available online.

Filing a Legal Action for Elder Abuse

Once you report the elder abuse and have moved your loved one to a safe location, you may want to take legal steps to hold the person or persons responsible for the abuse liable for damages. Under California’s personal injury laws, an individual who suffers damages because of abuse has the right to seek compensation from the individuals responsible for the abuse. An attorney can help you evaluate the circumstances and facts in your case to determine your legal options.

Money will never undo the harm caused by elder abuse. However, filing a lawsuit seeking damages from the responsible party can help provide financial support for your loved one to ensure your loved one’s needs are met. Another benefit of filing a personal injury lawsuit for elder abuse is you help bring light to the neglect and abuse many elderly individuals suffer each day. By filing a lawsuit, the party or parties responsible for the abuse may not be able to move into another position that allows them to abuse or neglect another patient or resident.

Potential Warnings Signs of Elder Abuse

Elder abuse and neglect can take many forms. Abusers may use physical harm, verbal abuse, isolation, theft, fear, threats, sexual abuse, neglect, or withholding food or other necessities to harm an elderly person. Always trust your instincts and investigate any changes in your loved one’s health, appearance, mood, or personality.

Some signs that might indicate elder abuse or neglect include:

  • Unexplained illnesses or injuries, such as broken bones, bruises, sexually transmitted diseases, infections, bed sores, and lacerations
  • Changes in mood or personality, especially depression, anxiety, signs of trauma, agitated, and withdrawn
  • Loss of weight for no reason
  • Stops participating in activities, especially activities that he or she enjoys
  • Missing property or money and changes in financial documents and accounts
  • Dirty clothing, unkempt hair, or strong body odor

Contact a California Elder Law Attorney for More Information

If you have questions about elder abuse or other matters related to elder law, contact the experienced estate-planning attorneys at Horizon Law today to discuss your concerns with a California elder law attorney.


Archived Posts

2019
2018
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January
2017
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January
2016
2015



© 2019 Horizon Elder Law & Estate Planning, Inc. | Disclaimer
2333 San Ramon Valley Blvd., Ste. 145, San Ramon, CA 94583
| Phone: (925) 244-1185

Elder Law | Estate Planning | About

Law Firm Website Design by
Amicus Creative