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Aging population may increase likelihood of elder abuse

Increasingly, California families are unable to care for their oldest members. There are many instances when nursing home patients are abused or neglected. Injuries that arise out of nursing home abuse include pressure ulcers, malnutrition, infections, falls, dehydration and financial abuse. An experienced nursing home abuse attorney can help California families hold a nursing home accountable for failing to take care for its patients and help ensure that an abused patient is compensated for the pain that he or she had to endure.

The growing population of senior citizens across the country has resulted in the formation of senior citizen advocacy groups concerned with the increasing potential for elder abuse. Many seniors find themselves in nursing homes throughout California. It is not uncommon for these nursing homes to be undefended and therefore have inadequately trained staff, which heightens the risk that vulnerable patients will be neglected or mistreated.

“We estimate that as many as one in 10 seniors at some point are victims of elder abuse,” said one retirement community president. “A victim of elder abuse can be rich or poor, in an urban or country setting, and of any race or gender. They can be independent. They can live in a facility.”

The most common type of elder abuse is financial. There are times when unscrupulous caretakers notice that a patient is mentally vulnerable and take advantage of that patient’s finances. Many senior citizens feel dependent on their caregivers and will sign over all of their assets to those who care for them. A nursing home abuse and neglect lawyer can help hold these caregivers financially accountable and ensure that the victim is properly compensated.

Source: USA Today, “As USA grays, elder abuse risk and need for shelters grow,” Haya El Nasser, Jan. 10, 2012