Are you worried that your elderly family member might be the victim of elder abuse? Sadly, it is far more common in Los Angeles than many people think. In the United States, the 2010 Census recorded the greatest number and proportion of people age 65 and older in all census history: 40.3 million, or 13% of the total population. This means that with the vast number of individuals entering nursing home and receiving other types of elder care, more innocent victims are susceptible to abuse. While we just do not know for certain how many people are suffering from elder abuse and neglect, it appears that female elders are abused at a higher rate than males and that the older one is, the more likely one is to be abused.
If you believe that your loved one is the victim of elder abuse, do not delay in calling the authorities and then an experienced elder abuse attorney. The right lawyer will have been through this with other clients and will be able to guide you through the process. There are certain signs and symptoms of elder abuse or neglect, which may alert to the possibility of problems. It is important to note that in many case, what sometimes seems to be self-neglect often turns out to be elder abuse.
Signs of potential elder abuse include:
1. Disappearance of financial or other assets without a real explanation. Money or personal items such as eyeglasses, jewelry, artwork, etc… may inexplicably go missing.
2. Malnourishment and inadequate physical care. This can include dehydration or starvation, poor hygiene, urine sores, bed sores, or over-sedation.
3. Physical injuries such as bruises, burn marks, welts, rope burns, tufts of hair missing, broken bones.
4. Personality changes. The abused may become withdrawn, fearful, or anxious; particularly around certain persons, or may suddenly and without explanation express a desire not to visit or receive visits from family or friends.
5. Lack of medical attention.
6. Sudden, unexplained changes in the victim’s living arrangements, such as a younger person moving in to “care for” them shortly after meeting.
This list is not exhaustive. If any of these signs look familiar, seek the guidance of a skilled elder abuse attorney in Los Angeles. It is frequently very difficult to detect nursing home abuse and/or elder abuse. Often, the abusive behavior occurs in private and the victim may be unwilling or unable to describe the attacks due to embarrassment, fear, dementia, or other reasons.
For more information on elder abuse and how to determine if it is happening to your loved one, contact the compassionate elder abuse attorneys at BIKLAW today.