According to The National Center on Elder Abuse it is estimated that between two to five million elderly Americans suffer from some form of elder abuse each year. Elder abuse occurs in many forms including physical, emotional, psychological, financial abuse, neglect, abandonment or sexual abuse.
In truly disturbing news, it is believed that elders who suffer from some form of dementia are thought to be at greater risk for abuse or neglect than elders who do not have some form of dementia. In fact, according to one research brief released by the NCEA, three different international studies have found that the rates of elder abuse for elders with dementia ranges from 34%-62%.
In the United States, a separate study found that caregivers abused and or neglected elders with dementia at the alarming rate of more than 47%. The type of abuse that elders suffering from dementia are most likely to experience include verbal abuse, physical abuse and neglect.
We are clearly in the midst of an epidemic, when it comes to elder abuse, meaning that it is vital that we all pay attention, watch for warning signs, and speak up if we believe that any elder is being abused in any regard. Whether an elder is residing in a nursing home, skilled nursing facility, assisted living, or even within his or her own home, if you suspect an elder in San Diego County is being victimized, it is your duty to speak up.
If you suspect any form of abuse, report it immediately to:
• Local Law Enforcement, including the Police, Sheriff, and District Attorney’s office. The San Diego County Sheriff’s department can be reached at (858) 565-5200. The San Diego County District Attorney may be reached at 619-531-4040.
• Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program provide a 24/7 Crisis Complaint Hotline at 800-231-4024.
• Adult Protective Services (APS) in San Diego County, you may contact: San Diego County Aging and Independent Services (858) 495-5660, or the Eldercare Locator help line at 1-800-677-1116.
All elders in California nursing homes have the right to quality care and attention, regardless of their age or health status. If those rights are denied, abuse must be reported. For tips on reporting suspected neglect and/or abuse in a California nursing home, the Justice Department has a helpful citizen’s guide that can be found at the following by clicking here.
Christopher C. Walton is an award winning San Diego, California based elder abuse attorney whose practice is dedicated to issues involving elder abuse & neglect in Southern California nursing homes. If you believe you or somebody you know has been subjected to any form of abuse in a Southern California nursing home, contact Christopher C. Walton, Esq. at (866) 338-7079 for a free and confidential consultation. Cases are handled on a contingency basis, which means that you will not owe attorney fees unless there is a monetary recovery made for you.