Every year, hundreds of thousands of senior citizens suffer from elder neglect. This neglect can occur in the person’s own residence, the home of a family member, or in a nursing home or assisted living facility. While some cases of elder neglect are perpetrated by paid caregivers, the majority are committed by family members, such as a spouse or an adult child. If you suspect elder neglect, report it to the authorities and then contact an Orange County elder neglect attorney.
What to Do If You Suspect Elder Neglect
If you suspect a loved one, a neighbor, or someone you encounter at an assisted living facility or nursing home is suffering from elder neglect or abuse, you need to take action. Call 911 immediately to get the medical treatment needed if the person is in a dangerous condition and his or her life is at risk.
If the victim doesn’t appear to be in immediate danger, call Adult Protective Services at (877) 477-3646 or (877) 4-R-SENIORS. Lastly, you’ll want to contact a concerned and experienced elder neglect lawyer. Orange County elder abuse attorney Travis Siegel of Siegel Law has dedicated his practice to fighting for the rights of the elderly and is always willing to represent them and their families.
What Is Elder Neglect?
Elder neglect is when a caregiver, be it a paid professional or a family member, fails to adequately provide for an elderly person’s physical and psychological needs. This can include not providing him or her with the right medications and physical therapy, not looking after personal hygiene, making him or her live in unsanitary conditions, not providing proper nutrition, and not providing social contacts and activities. The last two on the list are often overlooked, but they are actually quite important because psychological neglect can be every bit as devastating to an elderly person’s health as physical neglect.
Symptoms of Elder Neglect
Victims of elder neglect may not reach out to family members because they are embarrassed, afraid, or unable to communicate. In many cases, they may not even be aware that they’re being neglected. If you have an elderly loved one in someone else’s care, be on the lookout for these symptoms of neglect:
Lack of necessities like heat, food, and water.
Untreated medical or mental conditions.
Progressively worsening medical or mental conditions.
Insufficient living environment: too hot, too cold; not enough lighting, ventilation, or room; insect or animal infestation, etc.
If you see any of the above symptoms, speak with a dedicated Orange County elder neglect attorney as soon as possible.
Who Can Be Held Liable for Elder Neglect?
The person(s) charged with caring for your neglected loved one can be held responsible for injuries the loved one suffers. If the caregiver was an institution – like a nursing home or assisted living facility – their neglect is not only illegal, it qualifies as a breach of contract. You should take action and contact an Orange County elder neglect attorney as soon as you suspect that abuse is going on.
Free Consultation With an Elder Neglect Lawyer in Orange County
To find out more about your legal rights and options as a family member of a neglected elderly person, contact an elder neglect attorney at Siegel Law for a free case evaluation in Orange County. Call (562) 645-4145 today.