Elderly hands

What Is Elder Abuse?

If you have loved ones in a long-term care facility there is no doubt you have heard about the horror stories of elder abuse that takes place in those facilities. You want to know that your loved one is well taken care of, free of harm, happy, and safe where they live. Under California law, anyone who is older than 64 years is considered an elder, and California elder abuse penalties can come in the form of criminal and criminal repercussions.

There is a difference between a criminal act and civil elder abuse. When one party willingly tries to hurt an elder physically or mentally, allows them to suffer mental or physical abuse, or knowingly puts the elder in a situation where they will be harmed this is criminal. Civil acts of elder abuse in California include neglect, financial abuse, abandonment, isolation, or even keeping from them the necessary goods or services that they critically need. This could be like withholding medication that keeps an elder healthy.

If you suspect or know that your loved one was the victim of a California elder abuse act, you will want to take action, and understandably so. Preserving their rights, their health, their safety, and their happiness is imperative. The California elder abuse attorneys at AgnewBrusavich can help you protect your loved elder.

What are the Signs of Abuse?

There are some very clear indicators that physical abuse or potential neglect may be present:

  • Poor nourishment and dehydration
  • Bedsores or bruising
  • Physical injuries
  • Showing chronic signs of being in pain
  • Excessive weight loss
  • Skin lacerations or tears
  • Broken bones
  • Broken teeth
  • Are easily agitated
  • Have become angry
  • Has developed anxiety
  • Exhibits confusion and disorientation
  • Is defensive 
  • Is sad and depressed
  • Is scared, afraid, or timid
  • Won’t speak openly 
  • Withdrawing from social interactions and functions
  • Providing explanations that make no sense

When a family member is the sole caretaker for an elder, that doesn’t always mean that the elder is free from abuse. There are times when an elder can still be poorly treated by their own people. Signs that this is occurring include:

  • The elder is not allowed to speak freely
  • Visible anger or disregard and lack of empathy to the elder
  • Not allowing the elder out of the home for activities or to see loved ones
  • Explanations for harm to an elder that are not consistent

If you have the unfortunate experience to notice any of these changes or a combination of many of these symptoms in your beloved elder, there are things you can do. You should immediately connect with your county’s Adult Protective Services Office and report what you are witnessing. However, in situations where you believe that your loved one is susceptible to immediate danger to their health and wellbeing, call 911 as fast as possible.

Where Can You Find a California Elder Abuse Attorney?

Lawyering up with a talented and aggressive Torrance elder abuse attorney will be an additional action to keep your loved one safe. AgnewBrusavich is a California elder abuse law firm that cares about the safety and welfare of California’s elderly population. Call AgnewBrusavich today to schedule your free consultation at (310) 928-9081.

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