When a dependent senior’s caregiver simply turns his back on the senior and disappears, it is known as elder abandonment. As you might imagine, the loss of a caregiver without any warning or explanation can be devastating to the senior. Whether the abandonment is as simple as the caregiver failing to show up, or as complex as the caregiver dropping the elder off somewhere without the ability to go home, it can be equally damaging.
If abandonment has happened to your elderly loved one, you can take legal action. Speak with an experienced Orange County senior abandonment lawyer to explore your options. At Siegel Law, we are tough advocates for our clients and offer free consultations. Contact us today.
Who Is Responsible for Taking Care of Seniors?
Legally, the question exists as to who bears the responsibility for the costs and overall care of aging seniors. In many states, but not all, there is a duty imposed on the adult children of low-income seniors to provide care for them if the children are able. In others, the duty is not expressly declared, but instead understood to be a moral rather than a legal obligation.
What Is Neglect?
In its most basic form, neglect is the failure on the part of a responsible person to provide care and support to another. It can be due to intentional and unintentional failures. These may arise because of insufficient time or resources, a lack of commitment, or a lack of understanding of a senior’s true condition. If your elderly loved one was abandoned, regardless of the cause of neglect, you should speak with an Orange County elder neglect lawyer to learn about your available legal options.
Abandonment is an extreme form of neglect in which the dependent victim is quite literally left to his own devices. In cases where mobility or finances are limited, this may indeed result in the illness or death of the senior. In other cases, the physical care of the senior may be resumed in time with no harm done, but the betrayal of trust and the senior’s loss of faith in his offspring or caregiver may result in psychological harm.
What to Do If You Suspect a Senior Has Been Abandoned
Elder abandonment is not immediately obvious. Signs and symptoms of abandonment may include a senior:
Looking lost or afraid while alone.
Behaving erratically while alone, perhaps calling out another’s name or searching for someone.
Who has not picked up his or her mail or appeared at usual places and times.
Appearing malnourished, dehydrated, unkempt, or confused.
If you see an elderly person who shows the symptoms above, he or she may be suffering from a medical condition or may have been abandoned by a caregiver. Take appropriate action by calling local police or talking to an Orange County senior abandonment lawyer to see what needs to be done for the victim.
If your loved one was the victim of abandonment, contact Siegel Law at (562) 645-4145. Our Orange County senior abandonment lawyers can give advice and counsel on potential legal rights and remedies.