If you believe that your loved one is being treated unfairly, you must listen to your instinct. This may lead you to file an elder abuse claim, but you must make it clear whether elder abuse or elder neglect was occurring. Read on to discover the difference between the two and how a seasoned California elder abuse lawyer at Cowdrey & Jenkins LLP can help you through your legal proceedings.
What is elder abuse versus elder neglect?
Oftentimes, elder abuse and elder neglect are used interchangeably to describe misconduct against an elder. Though, there are subtle differences between the two.
For one, elder abuse is considered when an individual intentionally harms an elder, or when an individual performs such a reckless action that they should have known it would likely result in harm to an elder. Such an individual may be a care facility nurse, a care facility staff member, or even a family member serving as a caregiver. Examples are as follows:
- An individual physically attacks an elder, causing them to incur bruises, broken bones, etc.
- An individual sexually attacks an elder, causing them to incur a disease, grow fearful around others, etc.
- An individual intimidates or threatens an elder, causing them to grow depressed, get mood swings, etc.
On the other hand, elder neglect is considered when an individual withholds basic care needs that an elder requires for their health, safety, and well-being. More often than not, this is usually not intentional but rather due to negligence or an accident. Again, such an individual may be a care facility nurse, a care facility staff member, or even a family member serving as a caregiver. Examples are as follows:
- An individual neglects to reposition an immobilized elder, causing them to incur pressure sores, bed sores, etc.
- An individual neglects to administer the proper medication to an elder, causing them to be overmedicated, undermedicated, wrongfully medicated, etc.
- An individual neglects to assist an elder with hygienic practices, causing them to live in soiled undergarments, dirty clothes, etc.
What should I do if my loved one is being abused or neglected?
Regardless of whether your loved one was abused or neglected, you must fight for justice. First, you must report the incident of abuse or neglect to your loved one’s care facility, to your local law enforcement, and to the California Department of Social Services. Then, you must file a claim against the abusive or negligent party.
And as per the state of California’s statute of limitations, you will only have two years from the date of your loved one’s incident to bring your lawsuit forward. To avoid missing this deadline, you must not hesitate in speaking with a competent California elder abuse lawyer. We await your phone call.