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Bakersfield Elder Abuse Lawyers

Elder abuse can take many forms, from physical and emotional abuse to financial exploitation and neglect. And while it may seem overwhelming, you’re not alone in this fight. An experienced Bakersfield elder abuse attorney can provide the support and guidance you need to protect your loved one. 

Whether your loved one lives in a nursing home or receives in-home care, it’s important to be informed and know the signs of elder abuse. Let’s work together to protect our aging loved ones and promote a safe and dignified future for all.

In this blog, we will provide an overview of the types of elder abuse, the signs of elder abuse, and the services you can expect when you hire an elder abuse attorney. 

Bakersfield Elder Abuse Statistics

California sees 176,000 cases of reported elder abuse annually. And officials estimate that for every case known to U.S. reporting agencies, another 24 cases go unreported.

At least 10 percent of adults 65 and older will encounter elder abuse in some form. 

Statistics from the State of California Department of Justice show that elder abuse is all too common:

  • More than 150,000 California residents live in unlicensed assisted living facilities.
  • Many living in these unlicensed facilities—and even some in licensed facilities—are given antipsychotic drugs that are improperly administered for sedation and restraint.
  • 13% of complaints received by the California Senate Office of Oversight and Outcomes were for abuse, neglect, and/or exploitation.

Elder abuse is prevalent in California, but statistics just scratch the surface of abuse. Elder abuse is grossly unreported, with studies claiming that 14 out of 15 elder abuse incidents go unreported. And 11% of the six million yearly cases of abuse of the elderly occur in California.

Elder abuse often happens behind closed doors:

  • 33% of accused abusers are family members of the abused.
  • 16% of accused abusers are strangers.

What Is Elder Abuse?

In California, the legal protection against elder abuse centers around the Elder Abuse and Dependent Adult Civil Protection Act (EADACPA). 

This act encompasses a wide range of physical abuse, neglect, financial exploitation, abandonment, isolation, and any other mistreatment that results in bodily harm, pain, or mental suffering. It also covers the deprivation of goods or services essential to avoiding harm or suffering by a care custodian. The EADACPA provides a framework for pursuing civil action in elder abuse cases. 

Types of California Elder Abuse Cases

Every individual is unique and may exhibit different signs of abuse. An older adult’s mental capacity, personality, and personal history are just a few factors that can affect how they show they are being abused. And because some elderly individuals think it’s inappropriate or shameful to talk about abuse, it can sometimes be even harder to identify.

If you are worried that your loved one is being neglected or if they are showing any signs of abuse, it’s time to reach out to our elder abuse lawyers in Bakersfield.

Physical Elder Abuse

Physical elder abuse is a heartbreaking and unacceptable form of mistreatment where someone physically assaults an elderly person. This abuse can come from many sources, including family members, caregivers, strangers, and even nursing home staff or medical personnel.

California Penal Code 368 defines elder abuse as any unjustifiable action taken toward an older person’s well-being that results in suffering. 

Physical abuse is intentional and can completely alter a person’s life, safety, and sense of security. 

An act of physical violence against an elderly person in any form is considered elder abuse, including:

  • Hitting
  • Inappropriate restraint that harms the victim
  • Choking
  • Kicking
  • Giving the elderly person medication or chemicals that have not been prescribed or at an incorrect dosage
  • Non-consensual touching
  • Threatening with a weapon
  • Force-feeding 

Signs of Physical Abuse in Elders 

Physical abuse in elders is a devastating form of mistreatment that no one should have to endure. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to detect and often goes unnoticed. If you are concerned that a loved one is being physically abused, look for bruises, broken bones, restraint marks, or lesions. 

You should also be concerned if your loved one shows increased agitation around certain people or in certain situations, if they have pressure ulcers, or are becoming more withdrawn and unresponsive. 

If you do suspect physical abuse of your elderly loved one, talk to us right away. The Bakersfield elder abuse lawyers at Chain | Cohn | Clark are here for you. 

Nursing Home Abuse

Nursing home abuse happens when staff, employees, caregivers, or medical professionals abuse an elderly person in their care. Nursing home abuse can happen any time the facility’s workers fail to meet the required standards of care.

Nursing home abuse can include other types of elderly abuse, like neglect, physical abuse, and sexual abuse. It can also include psychological abuse, such as verbal humiliation, threats, and financial exploitation. California’s Welfare & Institutions Code § 15610 protects our elderly community and loved ones from nursing home abuse and calls for adult protection.

The Bakersfield elder abuse attorneys at Chain | Cohn | Clark want to ensure that we hold institutions accountable for any nursing home abuse that occurs. 

Signs of Nursing Home Abuse in Elders 

If your loved one resides in a nursing home, look for signs of nursing home abuse. Be suspicious if they experience any unexplained injuries. Also be on the lookout for any signs of emotional distress. Other red flags include a sudden reluctance to be alone with staff members and sudden changes in behavior or attitude.

Sexual Elder Abuse

Non-consensual sexual touch or contact is unacceptable and constitutes sexual elder abuse.

Unfortunately, sexual elder abuse is often underreported. Elderly individuals may be unable to communicate the abuse happening to them, and the perpetrator may use tactics like confusion, guilt, humility, or threats to silence the victim.

If you suspect that a loved one is a victim of sexual abuse, it’s crucial to seek the help of an experienced elder abuse lawyer to ensure their safety and well-being.

Signs of Sexual Elder Abuse

Signs of sexual abuse in the elderly may include sudden changes in behavior, depression, fear of specific people or situations, reluctance to be alone with a particular person, and unexplained sexually transmitted infections.

Elder Neglect

Elder neglect happens when someone neglects the person under their care. Often, the caregiver willfully refuses to meet the older person’s needs.

The consequences of elder neglect can be severe, leading to physical, emotional, and mental suffering for the victim. It’s crucial to be vigilant and address any instances of elder neglect to ensure the safety and well-being of our aging loved ones.

Signs of Elder Neglect

Several signs may indicate a situation involving elder neglect, including:

  • Weight loss or confusion from malnutrition
  • Improper hygiene
  • Bedsores
  • Dehydration
  • Caregiver reactions like apathy or anger toward the elderly person

Lack of Proper Care

The proper care of an elderly person is essential to their safety and well-being. Neglect or failure to provide the necessary care can have serious consequences, including physical harm and even life-threatening situations.

For example, a patient with dementia may wander off and become lost and alone in Bakersfield. Or a recipient receives the wrong medication or medicine dose it could result in dangerous consequences. Each person in a care facility needs personalized treatment. If they are not being treated properly, the results could be detrimental.

Signs of Lack of Proper Care

If your loved one resides in a care facility, be vigilant and look for signs of lack of care. These can include:

  • Hospitalizations due to untreated medical conditions
  • Unexplained or sudden injuries
  • Unsanitary living areas
  • Inadequate food or fluids
  • Avoiding eye contact with staff members

Assisted Living Facilities (ALF) Abuse

When your loved one is in an assisted living facility, there is potential for an ALF staff member to take advantage of and abuse the elderly resident. ALF abuse can include physical, financial, sexual, and negligent abuse and can have severe repercussions.

It’s essential to be aware of the signs of ALF abuse and get assistance from an experienced elder abuse attorney if you suspect your loved one is being abused.

Signs of ALF Abuse

In addition to changes in behavior and attitude, some other signs of ALF abuse include:

  • Unexplained injuries
  • Unexplained withdrawals from bank accounts
  • Unpaid bills and taxes
  • Forced isolation or confinement
  • Physical restraint
  • Unexplained venereal diseases or genital infections

Financial Elder Abuse

Financial exploitation or mismanagement of an elderly person’s finances constitutes elder abuse.

Financial abuse can involve various activities, such as unauthorized use of a senior’s credit and debit cards, stealing cash or personal belongings, forging checks, or taking advantage of an elder’s mental impairment to influence them into making a financial decision that goes against their best interest.

Financial abuse can include:

  • Embezzlement
  • Blackmail
  • Intimidation
  • Abuse of power of attorney status
  • Check forgery
  • Stealing
  • Property theft
  • Misappropriation of bank accounts 

Signs of Financial Abuse in Elders 

Financial abuse of elders can be a subtle and insidious form of mistreatment, but there are warning signs.

Some common indicators include unusual or unexplained bank account activity, missing financial documents or changes to legal documents, sudden changes in spending habits or living conditions, unexplained disappearance of funds or assets, and unusual or unauthorized changes to wills or trusts.

The older adult could also experience a sudden change in relationships with family or friends or seem confused or uncertain about their financial situation.

How an Elder Abuse Attorney Can Help You and Your Loved One

An elder abuse attorney can play a critical role in protecting the safety and well-being of your loved one.

Here are some ways an elder abuse attorney can help you:

  1. Our attorneys can thoroughly investigate the abuse, gathering evidence and interviewing witnesses to build a strong case.
  2. An elder abuse attorney can advocate for your loved one and protect their rights.
  3. An elder abuse attorney can help you pursue legal action against the abuser, whether through a criminal case or a civil lawsuit.
  4. The legal system can be complex and confusing, but attorneys at Chain | Cohn | Clark can help guide you through the process and provide the support you need.
  5. Our team can help protect your loved one’s assets and ensure their financial security is not compromised.

If you believe your elderly loved one is being abused, contact the attorneys at Chain | Cohn | Clark as soon as possible. An experienced attorney can help protect their rights, ensure they receive the care and protection they deserve, and get them the compensation they are entitled to for their suffering. Your elderly loved ones should be able to lead a safe and secure life.

We’re the Bakersfield Elder Abuse Law Firm You Can Rely On

Some older adults may exhibit signs of abuse by withdrawing from their typical activities. They may be less communicative and exhibit a persistently negative demeanor. Healthcare workers may talk negatively to elders, making them feel ashamed about their limited abilities. They may speak harshly to elders or call them names. 

Elder abuse law also covers neglect. Most of the cases that our elder neglect lawyers help with begin based on initial reports of bed sores. When bed sores start appearing on an elderly loved one, it is time to contact knowledgeable elder neglect lawyers in Bakersfield. 

Healthcare workers may also fail to provide proper hygiene, incontinence care, and eating assistance when they neglect elderly individuals. Bakersfield elder abuse lawyers from our qualified, reliable, and professional law firm can help.

If there are no bruises or apparent physical injuries, remember that the abuse may be verbal or emotional. Our professional team of elder abuse lawyers can also help with these cases.

Types of Compensation Available for Elder Abuse Cases

When your loved one has experienced elder abuse, the perpetrator must be held accountable. Many elder abuse cases are categorized under personal injury because of the nature of the harm done. 

Depending on your case, there could be a civil or state lawsuit. You may be able to pursue compensation and a potential criminal conviction in an elder abuse case. Our Bakersfield elder abuse lawyers are here for you to help you seek the compensation your loved one deserves.

If the abuse victim is still alive, they can recover past and future medical expenses, including increased care expenses, past and future wage loss if relevant, and damages for past and future pain and suffering. 

In addition, the victim may be awarded punitive damages if the misconduct is severe enough. In cases where the older person has died, survivors are entitled to recover all of the above damages plus damages resulting from the loss of society— the care and comfort which would have been provided to them by the deceased.

Who Can File an Elder Abuse Lawsuit? 

The following parties have the right to take legal action for elder abuse:

  • A living elder or dependent individual
  • The estate or successors-in-interest of the elder or dependent individual if they have passed away 
  • Family members who have witnessed the abuse 
  • The conservator or guardian of an incompetent elder or dependent individual

Our Elder Abuse Lawyers in Bakersfield Are Standing By to Help

If you have an elderly loved one who is being abused, it is essential to act quickly. Contact a nursing home abuse attorney for a complimentary consultation. At Chain | Cohn | Clark, we are committed to remaining the best Bakersfield elder abuse law firm. 

Our elder abuse lawyers will learn about your specific case and start an investigation. Let our elder abuse lawyers here in Bakersfield help you or your loved one receive the compensation and care you deserve.

Contact Chain | Cohn | Clark Today

If you know an elderly person you suspect is being abused or neglected, reach out to us right away. Taking advantage of someone is never acceptable.

Chain | Cohn | Clark proudly serves the city of Bakersfield. We also serve greater Kern County, providing services to clients outside of Bakersfield. Our attorneys include Taft elder abuse lawyers, Arvin elder abuse lawyers, Delano elder abuse lawyers, Tulare elder abuse lawyers, and beyond.

Contact us today with questions about elder abuse law and pursuing a case for justice. 

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