California elder abuse laws protect persons over the age of 65 from physical abuse, neglect, financial abuse, abandonment, isolation, abduction, or other treatment resulting in physical harm or pain or mental suffering.
Common perpetrators include nursing homes, long-term care facilities, in-home care attendants, nurse’s aides, nursing home residents, financial advisors, telemarketers, contractors, and even family members.
Elder care facilities are frequently understaffed with underpaid and poorly trained attendants. In-home care attendants often lack the diligence to prevent injuries and insure proper medication. Family members, fiduciaries, and businesses often exploit elders for financial gain.
Examples and signs of care giver neglect include abuse, assault, bed sores, bruises, dehydration, falls, feeding errors, fractures, inadequate supervision, infections, malnutrition, medication mistakes, peer abuse, poor personal hygiene, skin damage, substance abuse by the caregiver, transportation accidents, weight loss, and even death.
Examples and signs of elder financial abuse include: unauthorized use of finances, theft of money or property, misuse of checks and credit cards, forged signatures, identity theft, preventing the elder from having access to his or her money, deceptive investments or loans, selling unnecessary or overpriced goods or services to an elder, and refusal to honor a contractual obligation owed to an elder.
Compensatory damages available in civil elder abuse actions include past and future medical expenses, attorney’s fees, pain and suffering damages, and financial damages. Enhanced or punitive damages are sometimes also available.
If you suspect that you or a loved one has been a victim of elder abuse, contact our office to learn more about your rights and options.