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Abusers Use Scare Tactics to Keep Elderly Victims Quiet

By Long Beach Elder Abuse Attorney on January 15, 2018

Eviction is one of the biggest threats that can be used against residents in a nursing home or elder care facility. When confronted with having to find a new place to live, some people will simply back down and dismiss a complaint against a neglectful or abusive nursing home.

CBS Los Angeles reported the case of 96-year-old Sally Kelly, who was threatened with eviction after videotaping her senior living facility caregivers not responding to her calls for help. Staff at City View Villa didn’t show up 95% of the time, Kelly claimed, even after multiple calls. For that, she was served with a notice of eviction.

Did she do anything wrong? No. According to California law, you can record people on video in the privacy of your own home or residence, for a reasonable purpose. Kelly was well within her rights to record her caretakers’ neglect—but now, she’s fighting to stay in her home. That’s outrageous!

Elder abuse, in all its forms, is repulsive. When we trust others to care for our elderly loved ones, we expect them to treat our family member with respect and perform their duties.

Reporting abuse can be difficult, but it’s very important to do to bring such gross misconduct to light. When complaints are made, however, abusers often try to silence their victims. Here’s what they do.

They Claim Innocence.

Perhaps the simplest way someone who commits elder abuse will try to get away with it is by claiming to be innocent. Even when confronted with clear evidence, including video, some people say what is recorded is wrong or untrue. This type of denial is easy to overcome, but can require persistence—it is meant to discourage the victim’s desire to call out the abuser, by making it a “he said, she said” situation. Don’t give up.

They Blame Someone Else.

Blaming someone else, especially the victim, is the preferred method for those who are caught abusing the elderly. They will say that someone else did it, or the elderly resident is the one who attacked them, or claim that family members are just out to get them. In cases of financial abuse, the abusers might claim the resident gave them the money or other possessions. This tactic is common with nursing home staff, so it’s important to have solid evidence of the abuse and to use it.

They Make Threats.

Threats of violence are common in nursing homes where abuse and neglect is occurring. Staff members are in a position of tremendous power over their elderly residents, and they abuse that trust to intimidate and verbally abuse residents.

The only way to stand up to these abusive tactics is to take legal action against them—and contact law enforcement. If your loved one has been abused or neglected in a nursing home, call Siegel Law today. Travis Siegel has dedicated his entire law practice to protecting the rights of the elderly. For a free consultation, call (562) 645-4145.

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Call Travis and his team at (562) 645-4145 or send us an email for a free consultation.