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What are signs of California elder abuse?

The best case scenario for the aging population in Los Angeles will be to have a healthy life and not need to be cared for, even in their later years. Often, however, elderly people need to be watched and assisted to make certain they do not injure themselves or get hurt through a lack of attention and ability to care for themselves. It is then that their families have to decide on whether or not to place their loved one in a nursing home.

A common concern about these facilities is the possibility of a nursing home error causing patient injury or abuse being perpetrated on the patients. Understanding the various kinds of elder abuse that can take place and the signs that are exhibited when they happen is a way to prevent it from happening and stop it if it does. People living in nursing care facilities can be physically abused, emotionally abused, sexually abused, be subjected to delayed assistance because of neglect and exploited financially.

Physical abuse happens because many of the residents are not able to communicate or defend themselves. It is a use of force against the person and leads to pain, injuries and greater impairment. Emotional abuse can involve yelling at the resident, ridiculing, intimidating or humiliating. Ignoring the patient when he or she needs help is another form of abuse and its aftereffects can lead to injury or death. Sexual abuse occurs as well. This is a form of abuse that is unconscionable to society as a whole and will horrify the family members of the person who was subjected to it.

The main idea of a person being placed in an assisted care facility is that the operative word -- care -- will be taken to heart. In some instances, a patient is ignored because there is no one around to make certain the staff is caring for him or her properly. When there is a patient injury or the belief that abuse is going on, it is not enough to remove the person from the situation. Alerting the authorities and seeking compensation is also necessary. Discussing elder cases with a legal advocate experienced in elder abuse is the first step to achieving justice.

Source: HelpGuide.org, "The different types of elder abuse," accessed on April 14, 2015

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