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Long Beach Elder and Physical Abuse Attorneys
When your elderly loved one is suffering from physical abuse in California
As we age, we rely on the care and support of others, especially when residing in nursing homes or assisted living facilities. Unfortunately, some elderly individuals suffer from physical abuse at the hands of those entrusted with their well-being. This type of abuse can take many forms, including hitting, pushing, restraining, or using excessive force, resulting in pain, injury, and emotional trauma.
If this happens to your loved one, the California attorneys at Garcia & Artigliere are here to hold the right people accountable. We have over 30 years of experience, over 150 years of combined experience to put behind every case, and over $3 billion recovered for elderly victims across the country. We stand ready to help you and your family, too. Get in touch with us today to find out what we can do.
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What is elder abuse?
Elder abuse refers to any intentional act or failure to act that causes harm or distress to an older adult. It can take various forms, including physical, emotional, sexual, financial, or neglectful abuse. Elder abuse can occur in different settings, such as the individual's home, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, or hospitals.
This page focuses on physical abuse.
What constitutes physical abuse?
In the context of elder abuse, physical abuse refers to the intentional use of physical force that may result in pain, injury, impairment, or physical distress for an older person. It involves actions that cause harm or potential harm, including but not limited to:
- Hitting, slapping, punching, or pushing the elderly person.
- Shaking or forcefully handling the person.
- Restraining or confining the individual against their will.
- Using physical restraints inappropriately or excessively.
- Force-feeding or withholding food and water.
- Overmedicating or administering medication improperly.
- Intentionally causing physical discomfort, such as through excessive or improper use of assistive devices like walkers or wheelchairs.
- Inappropriate use of physical force during caregiving activities, such as bathing, dressing, or transferring the person.
- Purposefully exposing the person to extreme temperatures or unsafe environments.
- Denying necessary medical care or medical neglect.
It is important to note that these actions are considered abusive when they are intentional and cause harm or distress to the older person. Accidental injuries or actions taken with the person's informed consent are not typically categorized as elder abuse, although it's essential to assess the context and the person's capacity to provide informed consent.
What are the signs of physical elder abuse?
Recognizing the signs of physical elder abuse can be crucial in identifying and addressing the issue. Some common signs and indicators of physical abuse include the following.
- Unexplained injuries: Frequent unexplained bruises, cuts, burns, fractures, or other injuries.
- Inconsistent or implausible explanations: The elderly person offers inconsistent or implausible explanations for their injuries or the caregiver's explanations do not match the severity or nature of the injuries.
- Multiple injuries or recurrent injuries: The individual has a pattern of injuries or recurrent injuries that may indicate a cycle of abuse.
- Delay in seeking medical treatment: There may be a noticeable delay in seeking medical care for the person's injuries, or they may be taken to different healthcare providers each time.
- Fear or agitation: The elderly person may display fear or agitation around a particular caregiver or show signs of being uncomfortable or anxious in their presence.
- Unusual behavior changes: Sudden changes in behavior, such as becoming withdrawn, anxious, or depressed, can be indicators of physical abuse.
- Reluctance to speak openly: The person may be hesitant or reluctant to discuss the source of their injuries or mistreatment, fearing reprisal or consequences.
- Signs of restraint: Marks on the wrists or ankles, or the presence of restraining devices, may suggest the improper use of physical restraints.
- Malnutrition or dehydration: Unexplained weight loss, signs of malnutrition, or dehydration may indicate neglect or intentional withholding of food and water.
- Poor hygiene or unkempt appearance: Neglect of personal hygiene or a decline in appearance may signal abuse or neglect.
If you observe any of these signs or have suspicions, it is crucial to report your concerns to the appropriate authorities or our Long Beach, California elder abuse attorneys for further investigation.
What is domestic vs. institutional physical abuse?
Domestic elder physical abuse means abuse committed by someone with whom the senior has a close or family relationship – like a spouse, child, sibling, caregiver, or other close associate. Institutional elder abuse, on the other hand, means abuse occurring in a residential facility like a nursing home or assisted living facility. It is typically perpetrated by someone with a contractual obligation to provide care and protection to the victim, like a staff member or nurse.
How do I report suspected physical abuse of my elderly loved one?
Physical abuse is a serious crime that involves assault and battery. If you suspect that an elderly adult who is vulnerable is being physically abused, it is your responsibility to report it to the appropriate authorities.
If you believe that a nursing home resident or a senior citizen in the community is in immediate danger, dial 911 for emergency assistance if you are unable to provide immediate help. Emergency medical personnel who examine the individual and suspect a crime, such as assault and battery, will notify law enforcement.
In the case of a nursing home or long-term care facility, report your concerns about physical abuse to a manager of the facility. However, it is important not to automatically accept their assurances or explanations.
Additionally, you should report your suspicions of physical abuse to state authorities who can investigate the situation and provide assistance to the victim of abuse. In California, for example, reports should be filed with the appropriate divisions of the Department on Aging.
Seeking assistance from an elder law attorney is crucial when dealing with cases of physical abuse involving elderly residents of California, whether they reside in the community or in nursing homes. An experienced attorney specializing in elder law can independently investigate the case and advocate on behalf of the abuse victim.
By working with an attorney, you can benefit from their expertise in navigating the legal complexities surrounding elder abuse. They will work diligently to gather evidence, assess the extent of the abuse, and pursue appropriate legal action to seek justice and compensation for the victim's losses and expenses incurred due to the abuse.
Whether it involves filing lawsuits, negotiating settlements, or representing the victim's interests in court, an elder law attorney can provide valuable support and guidance throughout the legal process. Their goal is to ensure the protection of the elderly individual's rights, well-being, and recovery from the abuse they have endured.
Do you have an elder physical abuse attorney near me?
Garcia & Artigliere has offices at One World Trade Center, Suite 1950, Long Beach, CA 90831. We’re right off West Ocean Boulevard near the Superior Court of California.
California elder physical abuse attorneys with experience
Contact our team of dedicated elder physical abuse attorneys at Garcia & Artigliere without delay. We are here to provide you with the legal support and representation needed to fight against elder abuse. Get in touch now to take the first step towards seeking justice for the victims. Call or contact us in Long Beach today.
We only collect attorney fees if we win your case. You can also reach our elder abuse lawyers in Louisville, Los Angeles, Phoenix, and New Orleans. Our services are available in both English and Spanish.
Se habla español.