Elder Physical Abuse


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Riverside Physical Abuse of the Elderly Lawyers

Riverside attorneys protecting physically abused seniors in California

Often, seniors reach a point where they rely on others for assistance, whether it is nursing home staff, a family member, or a licensed caregiver. These individuals should be trusted and have a duty to provide adequate care for seniors. Unfortunately, these trusted individuals will often inflict physical harm on the senior, which is a significant violation of trust. Physical abuse is the most common type of abuse in long-term care facilities, nursing homes, and in-home caregivers in Riverside and throughout California. If you see signs of harm, speak to a Riverside elder abuse lawyer from Garcia & Artigliere, contact us today.


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What is physical abuse?

Sadly, physical abuse is often overlooked, even though the signs and effects can be evident in many cases. Physical abuse of any kind is unacceptable, but it can be more severe when it happens to the elderly, a vulnerable group of people who might not have the resources to report the abuse. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, just one in 20 cases of elder physical abuse is reported. This is shocking to many people, which is why it is essential to understand what elder physical abuse is and how to protect your loved one.

Elder abuse takes many forms, but the most severe, direct, and life-altering is physical assault. The CDC defines this type of abuse as "illness, pain, injury, functional impairment, distress, or death as a result of the intentional use of physical force."

For it to be considered elder physical abuse, the harm must be inflicted on an older adult. Elderly physical abuse in Riverside can happen in a licensed institution, or be inflicted by a friend, spouse, family, nursing home staff, resident in the care facility, or a third party. Physical abuse can be a singular incident or habitual.

The reason elder abuse is severe is because seniors are frail and have compromised immune systems that make it harder to recover from injuries. They can also suffer permanent damage or health problems more easily, and may die from forceful injuries. It is imperative that you speak to a Riverside elder physical abuse attorney to fight for your loved one.

What are the signs an elderly person is being physically abused in Riverside?

Physical abuse often leaves signs, but not all of them are evident. Emotional trauma can also be a sign of a hostile nursing home. Common signs of elder abuse include:

  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Changes in mood
  • Depression or confusion
  • Signs of fear or acting withdrawn
  • Seniors who rock back and forth, mumble to themselves, suck their thumb, or seem disoriented.
  • Losing interest in social activities once enjoyed
  • Nervousness or tension around a caregiver

Seniors already deal with many risk factors, and when you add physical abuse, it can make the outcome worse. Unfortunately, perpetrators will look for seniors who are high-risk and vulnerable because of mental disabilities like dementia or impairments involving communication, judgment, and memory. These seniors may not remember that abuse occurred or who inflicted it.

As we age, our support system can become smaller, and those who live in nursing homes might not have as many visitors as they once did. Also, their friends may also be in nursing homes and too frail to check-in. This can lead to warning signs going unnoticed and more abuse. Conversely, if family dynamics are challenging, it can be a hotbed for abuse. The older individual may find it challenging to report because of the relationship they have with the abuser, or they fear they will not be believed.

What are the causes of elder abuse in Riverside?

According to the most recent data compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, (CDC) were over 600,000 senior citizens who were treated in emergency rooms between 2002 and 2016 for non-fatal physical attacks. For the same reporting years, there were 19,000 fatal injuries. The Office of Women's Health reports that physical abuse is more likely to happen from a romantic partner or spouse. In 60% of elder physical abuse and neglect cases, family members were the perpetrators.

Elder physical abuse has nothing to do with the senior, yet even though it is not their fault, the elderly can feel responsible. Instead, the causes of elder abuse have everything to do with the caregiver and the care facility. The most prevalent factors that can lead to elder physical abuse include:

  • Criminal history should be detected during the hiring process, and if it is not, the nursing home or agency could be liable for negligent hiring.
  • Drug and alcohol abuse can be a significant problem for violent caregivers. The intoxication could make the abuse worse or more frequent.
  • When a nursing home is understaffed, it can put stress on the caregivers who do show up and may become overwhelmed with stress and take it out on innocent residents.
  • Having a history of abuse as a child or domestic violence can make the person believe physical abuse is normal, causing them to lash out at anyone around them, especially those they can overpower.

Regardless of the reason for the abuse, it is inexcusable. Family and friends are the first line of defense from elder physical abuse. If you fear your loved one is being abused, speak to one of our Riverside physical abuse attorneys.

What injuries does physical abuse of the elderly cause in Riverside?

Any action that causes bodily injury, impairment, or death is physical abuse. Before we discuss the potential injuries, let's see how the abuse happens. Physical violence can manifest as:

  • Shaking
  • Hitting
  • Pushing
  • Scratching
  • Strangling
  • Slapping
  • Punching or kicking
  • Physical restraints
  • Misusing medication

Threatening to injure someone can also be considered abuse if a caregiver is unnecessarily rough with an elderly individual. They may exert strength and injure a senior when helping to bathe or dress. The most common injuries resulting from physical abuse include:

  • Tooth loss
  • Broken bones
  • Dislocated joints
  • Unexplained hair loss
  • Cuts, bruises, burns and bleeding
  • Signs that an injury was self-treated instead of by a medical professional

Other injuries can also be present, and you must look for signs and verify where the injuries came from by looking at medical records. Speak to the senior's medical team to review their care plan and any injuries you notice. If the injuries are not documented or they are unexplained, it can be a sign of physical abuse. Garcia & Artigliere can help you hold negligent parties responsible for physical abuse.


When does a Riverside elder physical abuse claim need to be filed?

An elder physical abuse claim should be filed within two years of discovering the abuse. It is uncommon to see families wait this long to act. The sooner you get your loved one to safety and speak to a Riverside physical abuse of the elderly attorney, the better we can investigate and build your case. The sooner you report the abuse, the sooner government agencies can get involved and take away relevant licenses and take other actions. Do not hesitate to call Garcia & Artigliere.

Do you have a Riverside elder physical abuse attorney near me?

If your loved one suffers elder physical abuse from another resident, caregiver, or in a nursing home, you can take legal action. Our lawyers understand this is a difficult time, and we can conduct an initial consultation over video conference or in the senior's home. Garcia & Artigliere has offices in Los Angeles and Long Beach and serves clients throughout California. Contact our offices for a confidential consultation today.

Speak with a Riverside elder abuse lawyer if your loved one was physically harmed

Has your loved one suffered physical abuse from the caretakers at their nursing home? If so, it is time to protect their rights and recover compensation for their injuries. Call the office of Garcia & Artigliere or complete our contact form to schedule a free consultation today.

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