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The elderly deserve our respect. They have persevered through life and often have health problems they are battling. However, because of their health problems and their communication problems, they can be vulnerable to abuse.

Elder abuse sometimes occurs in nursing homes, assisted living homes, or other residential facilities. Loved ones often put a lot of thought and care into selecting the right nursing home, and it can be devastating to realize that the elderly are being poorly treated, neglected, or even abused in some cases.

Nursing homes may suffer from poor management or poor hiring practices. They may not have enough staff to properly care for their residents. They may also fail to take proper care in hiring their staff, which can result in hiring individuals with criminal records or a record of poor working experiences at other facilities. This can result in inadequate treatment, including injuries, bedsores, poor nutrition and other medical problems.

Elderly abuse doesn’t include only neglect or physical abuse. It can also include fraud (such as identity theft), financial abuse, or emotional or sexual abuse. Abuse of the elderly typically happens in one of three situations: when an elderly person fails to properly care for himself, in an institution, or domestic abuse from a caretaker or a loved one.

Financial abuse of the elderly, as well as fraud, is increasing. Many thieves know the elderly are an easy target. Unfortunately, in many cases the abuse occurs from someone in a position of trust, such as a child, grandchild, accountant, attorney, or caretaker. Strangers also frequently target the elderly in their scams, such as through identity theft or scaring the person into buying a good or service they don’t need.

There are a lot of warning signs that you can look for if you have suspicions about the you’re your elderly loved one is receiving. Your loved one may have unexplained bed sores, financial problems, personality changes, weight loss, injuries, or evidence of overmedication.  Although of course there can be logical reasons each of these could occur, you should be cautious if you see any of these signs of abuse.

If you fear that your elderly loved one has been abused, be proactive. Be aware of the warning signs and report any suspicions of abuse to either the caretaker, nursing home, or other appropriate party. If you aren’t given a logical explanation or you have further suspicions, you may consider contacting the authorities. You should also keep an eye on your elderly loved one’s finances.

You may feel guilty if you helped to pick a nursing home and your loved one has suffered injuries, neglect or abuse. Instead of feeling guilty, take action. Remove the individual from the situation, and contact an attorney. An experienced elder-abuse attorney can help you hold the responsible parties legally liable. The attorney can do an investigation, talk to witnesses, examine medical records and public nursing home records, review financial transactions, or take other actions that are necessary to bring the responsible parties to justice.

If your elderly loved one has been abused, neglected or mistreated, call Micha Star Liberty of Liberty Law. She will help you take the appropriate actions to help you and your loved one seek justice. At Liberty Law, Micha Star Liberty believes that anyone who harms an elderly individual should be held responsible. Call Micha Star Liberty, Oakland-San Francisco elder abuse attorney at 510-645-1000 or 415-896-1000, to learn more about your legal options.



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