Elder Abuse and Elder Law Attorney In Los Angeles
Garcia & Artigliere specializes in elder abuse cases in Los Angeles and the entire state of California. Our elder abuse lawyers have more than 100 years of combined experience in elder law.
According to a recent study, 10% of adults 60 years of age and older are the subjects of abuse by caretakers, family members, and even total strangers. We understand the amount of anguish that one feels after discovering that their parent or friend was manipulated to meet the needs of the abuser.
As a dedicated team of elder abuse lawyers in Los Angeles, we have worked with clients on a wide range of complaints. We have brought justice to victims of abuse caused by bed sores, death and everything in between. When it comes time to get justice for your loved ones, we can help bring charges against the perpetrator.
Contact the elder abuse attorneys at Garcia & Artigliere today for a free case consultation if you suspect your loved one is a victim of abuse.
What Does an Elder Law / Abuse Lawyer Do?
Elder law lawyers are advocates for the elderly and their loved ones. We deal with a wide range of legal matters impacting an older or disabled individual, including problems related to nursing home abuse, financial senior abuse, abuse by home health care aides, personal injury related to abuse, health care and long-term care planning.
What is Considered Elderly Abuse in California?
Elder abuse in California consists of physical, psychological or sexual abuse upon a senior citizen. Senior abuse can even result in death. It is often committed by someone that is in charge of caring for the elderly person. In the United States alone, more than half a million reports of elder abuse reach authorities every year, and many cases go unreported.
Abuse of the elderly can take place in institutional settings, particularly long-term care centers, nursing homes, and skilled nursing centers. Often in these settings, elders are harmed when loved ones are not around, which is a thinly veiled attempt at covering up such treatment. Elders can also be abused at home by family members, including a spouse or adult child.
What Are the Signs of Elder Abuse?
The physical and psychological effects of senior abuse will vary. Family members and friends should be on the lookout for unexplained injuries or conditions that linger for an extended period. These effects include:
Lookout For These Signs of Elder Abuse:
- Welts, bruises and cuts
- Dental issues
- Head injuries
- Bed sores
- Consistent physical pain and discomfort
- Nutrition and hydration concerns
- Sleep disruptions
- Worsening of preexisting health conditions
Psychological Signs of Elderly Abuse
- High levels of distress and anxiety
- Withdrawal or increasing depression
- Dramatic change in sleeping or eating habits
- Confusion or contradictory statements
- A feeling of helplessness or hopelessness
- Signs of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
How to Recognize and Prevent The Abuse Of The Elderly
Signs of elder abuse can be challenging to recognize, or confused for symptoms of dementia or the senior’s frailty. Many of the signs and symptoms of elder neglect and abuse do overlap with symptoms of mental stress. Frequent arguments between the caregiver and the senior citizen or drastic personality changes can signal elder abuse.
Preventing Elder Abuse as a Loved One
As a caregiver or loved one, the following actions can help prevent elder neglect and abuse:
- Visit as often as you can at random times.
- Hold the facility and caretaker accountable; monitor that there is sufficient staff and that they are being attentive.
- Monitor the elder’s medications to make sure they are being taken according to the prescription from the doctor.
- Ask the elder if you can check their checking account and credit card statement for financial abuse and unauthorized transactions.
- Report suspected abuse to an elder attorney or the abuse hotline as soon as possible.
California Penal Code, Section 368
The state of California specifically acknowledges the reliance of elders and dependent adults on others for care. The law aims to protect these vulnerable groups who may be less competently or physically able to protect themselves. Elderly and dependent adults are often subjected to mental, physical and health limitations for which the state declares they are owed additional consideration and protection from harm.
Some elderly adults may lack the mental capability to report abuse or they may fear speaking up. The elderly may rely on caretakers and are frequently at the mercy of long-term care facilities, nursing homes, assisted living or home health personnel to act morally. Furthermore, the elderly can easily become victims of financial or physical abuse from strangers and sadly, even their own family members.
In California, it is a crime for any person to knowingly inflict unreasonable suffering or physical and mental pain on an elderly or dependent adult. The law extends to an individual permitting an elder to be placed in a situation in which the elder’s health is threatened. Additionally, further financial or fraudulent crimes relating to fraud, forgery, theft or embezzlement may be subject to additional offenses.
California enacting punishable criminal and civil laws against elder abuse, not only demonstrates problems in the state, but also important legal efforts made by attorneys to combat such injustices. Anyone in the care or custody of elders, licensed or public staff administrators, and supervisors or staff of elder or health care facilities, has a legal responsibility to report abuse immediately.
How to Report Elderly Abuse in California
If you suspect harm of a senior, you should call an attorney who specializes in elderly law immediately to get help with the reporting process in California. They will help you navigate the bureaucracy of filing a complaint with the local police department and Adult Protective Services, as well as provide support for you during the investigation. Your lawyer will ensure the rights of your elder loved one and that you are legally protected throughout the entire process.
What Is the Senior Abuse Investigation Process?
Upon receiving a report of abuse, Adult Protective Services will conduct an examination of the reported abuse. The preliminary objective of an investigation is to verify that the elderly person is safe and that they have been informed of their rights. The scope of the examination may include the following:
- A welfare check to the elderly individual’s house or care facility where elder abuse is alleged.
- Observation of the elderly person.
- An interview with the elderly person.
- An interview with other individuals who know the alleged victim and the situation.
- A review of treatment and healthcare records.
In addition to an investigation, the agency can help the individual or family members recognize additional resources that might be of support.
Your Los Angeles Elder Abuse Attorneys
At Garcia & Artigliere, we understand that this is a traumatic experience for the elderly loved one and caregiver. It is our mission to put an end to elder abuse and recoup all damages associated with such treatment. If you strongly suspect that a loved one is being abused in Los Angeles, or even if you have already discovered evidence of abuse, contacting a law firm that is on your side will ensure the best outcome.
Our elder abuse attorneys have been helping senior citizens who have been abused by caretakers at home and in facilities for more than 30 years. When you or a loved one has been abused, we step in to hold abusers accountable. We have handled more than 2,500 elderly abuse cases around the country, resulting in more than $1.25 billion in recoveries for victims and their families.
Please contact us at any time, and we will be glad to assist you and your family in the most courteous manner possible. By reaching out, this is a no-obligation, free consultation. Get the help and guidance you need by contacting us today.
*Elder Abuse Statistics & Facts | Elder Justice | NCOA.” NCOA. N. p., 2015. https://www.ncoa.org/public-policy-action/elder-justice/elder-abuse-facts/