Siegal & RichardsonLLP

San Francisco Attorneys Serving All Of California

Protect your loved one by staying alert for elder abuse

When it comes time to place a parent in a San Francisco nursing facility, it is often a difficult decision. You will probably worry about the psychological effects of moving your parent from their home, whether your mother or father will be comfortable, and even if there is enough money to pay for a quality facility. In addition, you will more than likely worry about the quality of care your parent will receive in a nursing home.

Unfortunately, elder abuse is not an uncommon occurrence in nursing facilities. In fact, it also happens in situations where the elderly individual receives care from a relative, private caregiver or another trusted person. Whether you have decided to place your loved in a nursing facility or bring in a private caregiver, it is important to stay alert for the following signs of elder abuse.

Financial abuse

Financial abuse often occurs in instances where the elder is generally isolated and one person is acting as the caregiver. For example, if you have a sibling caring for your parent and you are having trouble contacting or seeing your parent, this could be a red flag that financial exploitation is occurring. Other signs of financial abuse include missing checks, bills left unpaid and disappearing property.


Neglect can occur in almost any kind of setting. For instance, if the nursing facility that is supposed to be providing care for your parent is understaffed, neglect could easily exist. Look for dirty clothes, unwashed linens, unsanitary conditions and untreated conditions.

Physical abuse

When you visit your parent, always look for signs of physical abuse. This might include cuts, scrapes, bruises and even broken bones. If there are unexplained injuries or your parent seems to have an excessive history of "falling," it is probably time to move your parent to a safer environment.

Psychological abuse

In general, psychological abuse is the most difficult to detect. However, simply because it is hard to see, does not mean it is not having a detrimental effect on the victim. If your loved one begins to withdraw, shows signs of fear toward a particular person or stops speaking around certain individuals, this could indicate that there is psychological abuse occurring.

If you suspect that your loved one has been a victim of elder abuse, it is vital to change the situation as soon as possible. In addition, you might be able to take legal action against the perpetrator or the nursing facility.

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