Elder Abuse & Neglect

(714) 884-4197 • 9210 Irvine Center Drive, Irvine, California 92618

Many of our loved ones who are elderly are residents in nursing homes. These individuals are particularly vulnerable due to chronic health conditions such as high blood pressure or diabetes. Additionally, many suffer from dementia or Alzheimer's disease, and therefore lack the ability to clearly communicate their needs. To make matters worse, many are also prone to falls, as they may have limited mobility, requiring a walker, cane, or wheelchair to get around. Unfortunately, when vulnerable elders suffer injuries, they often experience a corresponding deterioration in their general health, which can result in the loss of independence or even and untimely death.

Despite charging hefty fees, many nursing homes do not provide a comfortable or even safe environment for their residents. Frequently, there are not enough staff members to care for the residents, and in some cases those staff members are inadequately trained. As a result, patients sometimes suffer improperly performed treatments, receive medications intended for other patients, or receive treatments that weren't ordered by their physicians. Even worse, it is not unusual to hear reports of staff members being unkind or abusive to residents.

Sadly , many of these facilities are unwilling to spend the money required to provide a safe environment for the elderly. These companies value profits over the safety of the residents, and the elderly pay the price by suffering falls, broken bones, bed sores and other devastating physical injuries. In lawsuits of this nature, it is not uncommon to discover that these facilities received prior warnings about their unsafe conditions from governmental agencies; and yet, their harmful practices persisted.

Other kinds of elder abuse include neglect, financial abuse, emotional abuse and sexual abuse. Such abuse can also affect dependent or incapacitated adults who are not elderly, and can even occur in acute-care hospitals. Since many elders and dependent adults do not have the ability to advocate for themselves, it is critical that compassionate family members and friends take note of the warning signs.

Warning signs of potential abuse include the following:

  • unexplained change in mental status
  • unexplained bruises or skin sores or breakdown
  • unexplained change in weight
  • unexplained change in general appearance
  • recurring infections
  • disappearing belongings or funds
  • recurring complaints of lack of attention
  • soiled or unkempt appearance

Ms. Johnson has worked at a number of nursing homes in a variety of roles, including as a certified nursing assistant, a licensed vocational nurse and a registered nurse. She therefore understand the issues faced by each level of caregiver in this setting. As a lawyer, she also has experience in holding nursing homes accountable for their actions. If you or a loved one has suffered elder abuse, contact the Law Office of Jennifer R. Johnson for a complimentary evaluation. By doing so you will be taking a step toward putting a stop to elder abuse.