Tackling Elder Abuse in San Bernardino & Riverside Counties
When you entrust a family member to the care of a facility, there’s an expectation of compassion and empathy to be given. Often times family members don’t have the time or resources to properly help care for their loved one full time, and you have to trust that the facility you choose can implement a care plan and take responsibility for your loved one. Many reputable nursing & care facilities seek to hire the best caretakers and have strict operating procedures in place to make sure your family member is getting the best care available and the attention that they need. However, ABC recently reported that nearly 30% of elderly residents at care facilities endure some sort of physical, emotional or financial abuse.
This news prompted us to seek comment from one of the Inland Empire’s premier injury litigators, Cory Weck of McCune Wright Arevalo, LLP in Ontario, who’s recently litigated two elder abuse cases involving care facilities.
InlandEmpireLawyers.com: How long have you worked as a personal injury lawyer?
Mr. Weck: I’ve been a lawyer for over 20 years, but I’ve practiced nothing but personal injury law on behalf of individuals for the past 15 years
InlandEmpireLawyers.com: What are the most common ways cases of caretaker abuse discovered?
Mr. Weck: Usually abuse is discovered when it’s too late and the consequences are irreversible. Since the family often doesn't live in close proximity to the home where their loved one is located, it’s usually a call from the ER when they first become aware that something bad had occurred.
InlandEmpireLawyers.com: What are the alert signals that family members should look for, or be aware of that would indicate elder abuse?
Mr. Weck: Do you notice a significant change in your loved one’s demeanor? Do you notice bruising? Do you notice that they don’t seem to want to eat anymore? Is there a lot of turnover in the staff?
InlandEmpireLawyers.com: Are there any reporting agencies or resources people can use to research complaints against a facility or care taker?
Mr. Weck: Yes there are agencies both at the local level and the state level one can report complaints to against the facility like Adult Protective Services in San Bernardino or Riverside Counties.
InlandEmpireLawyers.com: What should someone do if they suspect that a loved one is being abused by someone at a care facility?
Mr. Weck: It really depends on the severity of the abuse. For more minor type of complaints I would start with the facility management and then work up through the chain of command if your concerns are not addressed. For more serious events immediately file a complaint with your county agency and the state. If serious or deadly harm occurred I would advise seeking local counsel who has experience in these types of claims.
Elder Abuse & Negligence Resources
National Center on Elder Abuse: https://ncea.acl.gov/resources/state.html
National Center for State Courts: http://www.ncsc.org/Topics/Children-Families-and-Elders/Elder-Abuse/Resource-Guide.aspx
Photo Credit: https://pixabay.com/en/users/Unsplash-242387/
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