Elder abuse includes financial abuse, emotional abuse, physical abuse, neglect and other treatment resulting in physical, emotional or financial harm.
With the help of an elder abuse attorney you can put an end to the physical, emotional or financial elder abuse of yourself or a loved one. You can also obtain compensation for financial losses resulting from the abuse in addition to other damages.
Elder Abuse takes many forms. Financial Elder abuse is most often perpetrated by someone the elder trusted. The abuser may be a family member, friend, caretaker, financial advisor, power of attorney holder, trustee or even a conservator. Elder abuse often occurs as the result of undue influence, theft and outright fraud.
Elder abuse includes threats of assault and intimidation. Elder abuse exists when someone responsible for the care of an elder fails act reasonably in caring for the elder. Elder abuse may include the failure to assist in personal hygiene of the elder or provide appropriate food, clothing or shelter. Elder abuse also includes the failure to provide medical care sufficient for the physical and mental health of an elder. It also includes the failure to protect an elder from health and safety hazards and from malnutrition or dehydration.
What are the signs of elder abuse?
The signs of elder abuse may difficult to detect, particularly where the abuse is not physical. However there are signs to look for. The following are just a few of the signs to look for:
- Changes in the physical appearance, grooming or general behavior of the elder;
- Unusual banking activity;
- Sudden changes in estate planning documents;
- Transfers of assets, deeds or trusts;
- Gifts of money and other assets to caregivers, power of attorney holders and other fiduciaries;
- Caregivers that express more concern about the elder’s finances than about the elder’s physical and/or mental health;
- The inability or refusal of a caregiver or power of attorney holder to properly account for expenditures of the elder’s finances;
- Isolation of the elder by the caregiver, such as when a caregiver prevents the elder from interacting with friends or family members or prohibits contact unless the caregiver is present.
This list is by no means exclusive. Any of these warning signs, alone or combined, may indicate the elder has fallen victim to neglect, physical abuse or financial exploitation and warrant further investigation
What should you do if you know or suspect someone has been a victim of elder abuse?
If the known or suspected abuse has occurred in a long- term care facility, you should obtain the advice of an elder abuse attorney and a report should be made to the local Long-Term Care Ombudsman, the local law enforcement agency or the Bureau of Medi-Cal Fraud and Elder Abuse.
If physical or financial abuse has occurred anywhere other than in a facility, you should contact an elder abuse attorney to explore your available options and report the abuse to the local county Adult Protective Services agency or to the local law enforcement agency.
Contact an elder abuse attorney to stop the abuse and recover compensation for any damages caused
There are various legal remedies that an elder abuse attorney can pursue on an elder’s behalf or on behalf of an elder’s estate against the abuser
Some of those remedies include but are not limited to:
- The return of property;
- Removal of the abuser from the elder’s residence;
- The removal of conservators, certain trustees and power of attorney holders as fiduciaries;
- Restraining orders;
- Rescission of contracts and certain conveyances;
- Orders setting aside a will or trust or changes thereto procured as a result of undue influence, fraud, intimidation, coercion or otherwise wrongfully procured;
- Orders voiding gifts to fiduciaries and those procured as a result of undue influence, fraud, intimidation, coercion or otherwise wrongfully procured;
- Compensatory damages;
- Treble damages in cases involving deceptive or unfair business practices;
- Punitive damages; and
- An award of attorney’s fees and costs incurred in litigating the elder abuse claims
If you or someone you know has been a victim of elder abuse, contact us to schedule your complementary consultation and to explore your options. We are here to help.
Priscilla Madrid is an Elder Law and Estate Planning attorney serving clients throughout the Orange County and surrounding area for over 24 years. She is an experienced litigator with a legal masters degree (LLM) in elder law and estate planning and a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates with over 25 Civil Jury Trials to verdict