Placing an elderly family member in the care of others is a tough process. Whether it’s a nursing home or another facility, it means making an emotional decision and trusting others with your loved one’s safety and health. Nursing homes and care providers are tasked with creating a secure and comfortable space for elderly or disabled family members, ensuring they get the necessary care that they need.
Unfortunately, this often leads to situations where your elderly loved ones become vulnerable in, increasing the risk of abuse or neglect. In these scenarios, it’s extremely important that your elderly loved one’s health and well-being are taken care of.
Compassionate Support from an Experienced San Pablo Elder Abuse Lawyer
At the Law Office of Nikolaus W. Reed, we recognize how important the safety and well-being of your elderly loved ones are. If you feel they’re being abused by their caregivers, we’re here to assist you in navigating the path of seeking benefits and support from those responsible
We’ll lay out your legal choices and support you and your family throughout the claims process. Coping with elder abuse can be daunting, but with our capable and committed team by your side, we can make it a bit less burdensome.
Contact us today to set up a free, initial consultation to get started.
California Law and Elder Abuse in San Pablo
It’s an unfortunate reality that many elderly people in San Pablo suffer abuse or neglect at the hands of the very people charged with taking care of them. According to data from the California Association of Health Facilities (CAHF), nearly 400,000 elderly Californians are cared for in long-term care facilities throughout the state.
This data underscores the major issue of elder abuse that persists in California. What’s even more concerning is that this abuse can manifest in different ways, encompassing physical, emotional, sexual, financial, or neglectful forms.
Yet, being aware of the indicators of nursing home abuse is just one side of the coin. The other aspect involves understanding the legal framework that responds to this issue in San Pablo and throughout California.
The primary law in place that handles elder abuse and neglect in California is the Elder Abuse and Dependent Adult Civil Protection Act (EADACPA). This law outlines the array of protections afforded to individuals to safeguard them from abuse or neglect within nursing homes or care facilities.
The EADACPA defines nursing home abuse as encompassing:
- Physical abuse
- Financial abuse
- Any form of treatment resulting in physical harm, pain, or mental suffering.
The law sets up potential fines and legal consequences for both the person responsible and the facility. Unfortunately, even though this law exists, unacceptable treatment of your loved ones still happens regularly.
How Does Elder Abuse Manifest Itself in San Pablo?
As the EADACPA lays out, there are a number of potential acts that could constitute elder abuse in San Pablo. Out of necessity, elder abuse covers a wide range of behaviors and actions by care providers and facilities where your elderly loved ones live, like:
- Nursing Homes
- Skilled Nursing Facilities
- Residential Facilities
- Rehabilitation Facilities
- Wellness Centers
- Hospice Care
- Assisted Living Facilities
Regardless of the type of facility, elder abuse includes various forms of mistreatment, neglect, and exploitation. The most common types of abuse are:
Neglect often goes hand in hand with abuse, with specific situations facing your elderly loved ones like:
- Failing to provide basics like food, water, or hygiene
- Inadequate medical care, leading to untreated illnesses or injuries
- Insufficient supervision, causing accidents or falls
- Not maintaining a clean, safe environment
- Too few staff members, leading to neglect or burnout
- Neglecting assistance with daily tasks like bathing and dressing
- Mismanagement of medications
The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) investigates abuse complaints and ensures nursing homes and care providers follow state and federal rules. Victims of elderly abuse can report incidents and also take legal steps to hold the abusers accountable. Before you reach that step, though, it’s important to know what to look for.
What Should You Look For If You Suspect Elder Abuse in San Pablo?
It’s sad to say that elderly abuse happens quite often, especially in places that aren’t licensed or regulated. Even places that are supposed to follow rules can sometimes have problems with abuse or neglect. This usually happens when there aren’t enough people working to take care of everyone.
Even though there are rules and laws to protect elderly people, California doesn’t make a rule about how many staff members there should be compared to how many patients there are. This means that care facilities can decide on their own how many staff members they want. Sometimes, these places try to save money by having fewer staff members.
But this can be a big problem because there might not be enough people to take care of everyone properly. This can lead to cases where elderly people are not treated well or are ignored because the caregivers are too busy.
If you’re worried that someone you care about is being mistreated or not taken care of properly, you need to be watchful. Pay attention to signs of mistreatment when choosing a care facility and when visiting. Some signs that someone might be suffering from elder abuse include:
- Physical injuries – Keep an eye out for unexplained bruises, cuts, or wounds.
- Behavioral changes – Pay attention to sudden shifts in behavior, mood, or withdrawal from social activities.
- Changes in hygiene or nutrition – Notice if your loved one’s personal hygiene, nutrition, or living conditions deteriorate.
- Financial irregularities – Be wary of sudden financial changes, missing money or belongings, or unusual transactions.
- Living environment – Check for unsanitary living conditions or lack of proper care.
- Medical neglect – Ensure the person is receiving necessary medical attention and medications.
- Verbal aggression – Observe interactions for signs of yelling, threats, or intimidation.
- Isolation – Watch for isolation from family and friends or restrictions on communication.
- Fearful behavior – If the person seems afraid or avoids discussing their situation, investigate further.
- Bedsores – Look for signs of inadequate care, especially bedsores in immobile individuals.
- Medication issues – Confirm that medications are administered correctly and consistently.
- Relationship changes – Note any sudden shifts in relationships, especially with caregivers.
- Unexplained injuries – Frequent injuries without clear explanations are concerning.
- Staffing levels – Keep an eye out for whether care facilities have adequate staff to provide proper care.
Again, if you suspect a loved one is suffering abuse or neglect, it’s important to take immediate action by reporting the suspicions and any evidence to the facility or caregiver. Outside of that, you should be aware of your legal options.
Who is Responsible For Elder Abuse in San Pablo?
Legally, California treats elder abuse like any other injury. Negligence is often the crucial factor in establishing liability for damages. To succeed in an elder abuse claim, you typically need to demonstrate:
- The nursing home or care provider had a duty to provide proper care to your loved one.
- The provider breached this duty by negligent, abusive actions, or by allowing poor conditions under its control.
- This breach led to abuse and/or neglect, resulting in injury to your loved one or other residents.
Obviously, this opens liability up to many different parties, which is dependent on your particular circumstances. Generally speaking, any of the following can be held liable for elder abuse in San Pablo:
- The nursing home or care facility
- The individual care provider
- The company that owns or operates the nursing home or care facility
- Those responsible for overseeing hiring, supervision, or finances of residents
- Maintenance workers at the facility
- Manufacturers of devices that malfunctioned and caused injury
- Local authorities
Regardless of your elderly loved one’s circumstances, they did not deserve to be abused. Thus, in your role as protector, you can take the added step of pursuing legal options against those responsible for the abuse.
Legal Options For Victims of Elder Abuse in San Pablo
In San Pablo, it’s often necessary to file a claim for elderly abuse. However, these cases can get quite complicated. That’s because there are many different people and organizations involved, from the care facility to the individuals responsible for mistreating your loved one.
But don’t worry, California’s laws are clear about what you can do when someone you care about is facing elderly abuse. You or someone representing you can file a claim to get financial support and damages. Typically, this is done through an insurance claim or lawsuit. Our experienced team can provide you with guidance on the best path to take, but the overall goal is to recover damages for your elderly loved one.
These damages usually cover things like:
- Medical bills
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Lost wages or loss of earning potential
- Loss of companionship
- Punitive damages, in the event the facility or caregiver was excessively negligent
- Loss of quality of life
- Moving costs to a new care facility
- Physical therapy and rehabilitation
- Funeral expenses if the person passed away because of the abuse.
In general, having our team of skilled and committed San Pablo elder abuse lawyer and staff by your side can assist you and your family in understanding your legal options and getting the rightful compensation for any harm caused by the abuse.
Frequently Asked Questions
In San Pablo, “elderly” usually means people who are older, typically around 65 years old or more. They’re often seen as senior citizens or older adults in the community.
Elder abuse is a big problem globally, and San Pablo is also affected. Even though the exact numbers might differ, it’s commonly understood that not all cases are reported. It’s crucial to make people more aware and promote reporting to tackle this issue.
Legal actions against elder abuse perpetrators can vary based on the specific situation. They may include restraining orders, criminal charges, and civil lawsuits to seek compensation for damages.
Contact NWR Law Today for a Free Consultation
At NWR Law, Attorney Reed and his team understand how difficult it can be to watch your elderly loved one suffer abuse. That’s why we’re proud to offer legal services and support to make sure that they are treated with the care they deserve. If you believe your elderly loved one is being abused in San Pablo, don’t hesitate to contact us for a free consultation.