Holding Perpetrators Accountable For Elder Neglect

Sadly, about one in 10 people over 60 have experienced some form of elder abuse, according to the National Council on Aging. More alarming, 60 percent of elder abuse cases are perpetrated by family members or caregivers who have direct control over certain aspects of an elderly person's life. To say elder abuse is epidemic may be overstating it, but the truth is that the elderly are more likely to be preyed upon than other adults.

At the Law Offices of Michael R. Kaiser, we stand up for the rights of the elderly and those who care about them. We represent families throughout the Coachella Valley, High Desert and Riverside, Imperial and San Bernardino counties of California who suspect an elderly parent, relative or friend is being neglected by those who were supposed to oversee and protect their welfare.

How To Identify Elder Neglect

Elder neglect may not seem obvious at first. Your loved one may deflect pointed questions or topics that hint at possible problems. Nursing care administrators may insist that everything is normal or that your loved one's issues are the result of medication changes, dementia or general aging. However, the following are telltale signs that your loved one could be the victim of neglect:

  • Rapid weight loss or sudden fragility
  • Malnutrition or dehydration
  • Emotional withdrawal or depression
  • Bedsores and other untreated scrapes, bruises or marks
  • Poor hygiene
  • Unwashed bed linens and furnishings
  • Frequent illness or prolonged illness
  • Not wearing clothing appropriate for the weather or wearing threadbare clothes
  • Charges for medical procedures or medications that aren't administered

What About Self-Neglect?

Unfortunately, one of the side effects of aging is self-neglect. Some older adults are just forgetful, but the following could be signs of declining mental health:

  • Empty or almost-bare refrigerators, cupboards or pantries
  • Refusing to take medications
  • Hoarding
  • Refusing to clean or keep up with housework
  • Increased or sudden alcohol or drug dependence
  • Withdrawal from hobbies, social gatherings and general daily activities
  • Confusion, disorientation or incoherence

If you witness these symptoms, it may be time to start looking into assisted living facilities or nursing homes. If your elderly loved one's spouse, partner, in-home caregiver, power of attorney or guardian objects to your suspicions or flat-out denies them, we can help you investigate for possible elder abuse.

We Are Here To Help

Our lawyers want what's best for your loved one just as much as you do. To discuss your suspicions with a qualified Palm Springs elder abuse attorney, call 760-459-8545 or contact us online.