California Physical Elder Abuse Attorney Moves Fast to Protect Loved Ones
Prosecuting Elder Care Issues in San Diego and North County
The American Psychology Association estimates that for every elder abuse case reported, 23 go unreported. 23!
Also, as mentioned on our elder abuse overview page [link here], the U.S. government’s Center for Disease Control puts the number of reported cases at 500,000 per year. Don’t second guess yourself. Act now to confirm or dismiss any suspicions of physical harm to a vulnerable senior citizen.
Shockingly, 95% of elder abuse cases occur in residential home settings, not in nursing homes. Often, when a frail, financially- and physically-dependent senior moves in with family members, significant stress ensues. When that turns into slapping or the withholding of food, water and care, concerned family members and friends consider calling a San Diego elder abuse attorney.
Attorney Scott Fikes will act fast to help you win an emergency protective order in San Diego court. He can also help you file a complaint with California’s Department of Justice Elder Abuse Hotline. Unlike most other San Diego elder care lawyers, Scott represents most physical elder abuse clients on a contingency basis, meaning you don’t pay unless you win. This helps all families and concerned parties could get their loved ones out of desperate situations quickly and without fears of burdensome attorneys’ fees. More, Scott chose to work in independent practice specifically so he could give clients the close attention they require, particularly in urgent cases like elder abuse. Not only does Scott keep clients apprised of every step in their case in a timely way, he commits to returning all client phone calls within 24 hours.
Have a pressing question or concern? Scott offers a free 15-minute phone or in-office consultation. Feel free to call us at 619-568-3189 or fill out the Schedule Case Evaluation form on this page. You can also contact us here.
What Is Physical Elder Abuse?
The difficulty with elder abuse is that it can take as many forms as there are elders! For example, consider:
- Two older people live together and one has dementia or Alzheimer’s. The effects of these diseases may cause the sufferer to lash out and even hit his or her partner.
- In other cases, a paid caregiver, feeling desperate and out of options, may resort to using restraints with an individual they can no longer keep safe physically.
- Sometimes, spouses and/or children who have been abused their whole lives see an opportunity to retaliate against their abuser who suddenly becomes incapacitated. While some may see this move as “turn-about is fair play,” counseling is the best solution for everyone in this situation.
While these actions could qualify as understandable, they are still elder abuse. Basically, elder abuse and neglect involves the failure to care for an older person appropriately.
Not only are potential elder abuse situations complex, so are the California elder abuse laws. Using an experienced San Diego elder abuse attorney is critical. Scott Fikes can see you through this process at a reasonable cost and in a way that ensures you prevail.
The Often Subtle Signs of Physical Elder Abuse
Unfortunately, those requiring the services of caregivers sometimes suffer from dementia and a host of other issues that prevent them from reporting the abuse they experience. While bruises, scrapes, and burns obviously indicate abuse, so too can:
- Caregivers dismissing injuries you notice
- Finger or grip marks on wrists, neck and elbow area
- Rope marks on wrists and ankles
- Series of bruises and/or injuries
- Vaginal or anal bleeding or bruised breasts or buttocks (sexual abuse)
- Sunken eyes (possible sign of dehydration) or loss of weight (insufficient food)
- Senior’s fear of caregiver and others
The Good News for You the Senior Citizen You Care About
As you can see from the “What Is Elder Abuse” section above, these tragedies can happen even in homes where the caregivers love the victim. Keep in mind that effective interventions can prevent or stop elder abuse and even keep that person in their current situation. Helping caregivers understand just want constitutes abuse is often the first step in getting overwhelmed family members the care THEY need. It also increases awareness on the part of the senior’s doctors, mental health professionals, and any home health care workers. Bringing these individuals into the situation relieves the burden on everyone.
The other piece of good news is that California’s elder abuse laws are very strong. At the same time, they are complex and even nuanced. It takes an experienced California physical elder abuse attorney to build a solid case. Attorney Scott Fikes is happy to provide free 15-minute consultations either by phone or in his office. Call 619-568-3189 to schedule a call from Scott or fill out the Schedule a Case Evaluation form on this page. Finding a partner and sounding board is the first step in rectifying the potential tragedy.
Anyone concerned with the welfare of a senior citizen should explore the San Diego district attorney’s Safe Seniors website and the American Psychological Association’s “Elder Abuse and Neglect: In Search of Solutions.” and the county of San Diego’s Adult Protective Services websites.