Elder Abuse Attorney

Elder Abuse
Elder care, like childcare, is a challenge for adults that work outside of the home. To meet this challenge, many people have to trust and rely on the help of home health care agencies or nursing home facilities. These agencies and facilities promise to treat their residents or clients with care, compassion and dignity. Many elderly adults, however, are abused in their own homes by home health care workers and in nursing homes or assisted care facilities that are responsible for their care. This abuse can take many different forms – intimidation, threats or neglect. Sometimes elder abuse involves financial exploitation. Issues such as lack of attentive supervision, improper patient screening and being understaffed lead to many careless mistakes and neglect.

Every life has value and dignity until the very end. When a nursing home or care facility does not live up to the standard of care, they can be held legally responsible and ordered to pay due compensation for their mistreatment. This type of action creates incentive for these facilities and agencies to improve their level of care and to become more responsible. As elder abuse attorneys, we are committed to stopping elder abuse and neglect and holding those responsible financially accountable for their actions.

What are some of the signs of Elder Abuse?
The following may be warning signs of some kind of elder abuse:

  • Frequent arguments or tension between the caregiver and the elderly person
  • Changes in personality or behavior in the elderly person

If you suspect abuse, look for the following physical and behavioral signs:

Physical Abuse

  • Unexplained signs of injury such as bruises, welts, or scars, especially if they appear symmetrically on two side of the body
  • Broken bones, sprains, or dislocations
  • Report of drug overdose or apparent failure to take medication regularly (a prescription has more remaining than it should)
  • Broken eyeglasses or frames
  • Caregiver’s refusal to allow you to see the elder alone

Emotional Abuse
In addition to the general signs above, indications of emotional elder abuse include:

  • Threatening, belittling, or controlling caregiver behavior that you witness
  • Behavior from the elder that mimics dementia, such as rocking, sucking, or mumbling to oneself

Sexual Abuse

  • Bruises around breasts or genitals
  • Unexplained venereal disease or genital infections
  • Unexplained vaginal or anal bleeding
  • Torn, stained, or bloody underclothing

Neglect by care-givers

  • Unusual weight loss, malnutrition, dehydration
  • Untreated physical problems, such as bed sores
  • Unsanitary living conditions: dirt, bugs, soiled bedding and clothes
  • Being left dirty or unbathed
  • Unsuitable clothing or covering for the weather
  • Unsafe living conditions (no heat or running water; faulty electrical wiring, other fire hazards)
  • Desertion of the elder at a public place

Financial exploitation

  • Significant withdrawals from the elder’s accounts
  • Sudden changes in the elder’s financial condition
  • Items or cash missing from the senior’s household
  • Suspicious changes in wills, power of attorney, titles, and policies
  • Addition of names to the senior’s signature card
  • Unpaid bills or lack of medical care, although the elder has enough money to pay for them
  • Financial activity the senior couldn’t have done, such as an ATM withdrawal when the account holder is bedridden
  • Unnecessary services, goods, or subscriptions

Healthcare fraud & abuse

  • Duplicate billings for the same medical service or device
  • Evidence of overmedication or under medication
  • Evidence of inadequate care when bills are paid in full
  • Problems with the care facility: poorly trained, poorly paid, or insufficient staff; crowding; inadequate responses to questions about care

If you or someone you know has been affected or victimized by elder abuse, please contact the elder abuse attorneys at The Law Office of Sara J. Powell. We seek justice for victims through compensation and rights advocacy.